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MAGAZINE 



DECEMBER 1958 

35< 



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JOIN 
NOW 

By 

FINN 
O'DONNEVAN 

A 
SUSPENSE STORY 

OF 

THE DEADLIEST 

MIND BET 

EVER MADE 



THE 



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STRANGE 

PLAN ET 

NEXT 

DOOR 








73 






WILLY 
LEY 



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galaxy 

DECEMBER, 1958 ^ «T VOL. 17, NO. 2 

MAGAZINE 

* Also Published in 

Great Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Finland and Sweden 

CONTENTS 

NOVELLA 

i 

JOIN NOW by Finn O'Donnevan 6 

NOVELET 

ULLWARD'S RETREAT by Jac^ Vance 66 

SHORT STORIES 

NIGHTMARE WITH ZEPPELINS by Frederik Pohl and 

C. M. Kornbluth 44 
THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST by Fritz Leiber 90 

BOOK-LENGTH NOVEL— Third Part of Four 

TIME KILLER by Robert Sheckley 104 

■ 

SCIENCE DEPARTMENT 

FOR YOUR INFORMATION by Willy Ley 53 

The Strange Planet Next Door 
FEATURES 

EDITOR'S PAGE by H. L Gold 4 

FORECAST 43 

GALAXY'S FIVE STAR SHELF by Floyd C. Gale 100 

Cover by GAUGHAN Illustrating, in fanciful fashion, THE STRANGE PLANET NEXT DOOR 
by Willy Ley as the area above the mud storms may be explored and perhaps cultivated 
centuries from now. 

ROBERT M. GUINN, Publisher H. L GOLD, Editor 

WILLY LEY, Science Editor W. I. VAN DER POEL, Art Director 

JOAN J. De MARIO, Asst. to the Publisher SONDRA GRESEN, Asst. to Editor 

GALAXY MAGAZINE is published monthly by Galaxy Publishing Corporation. Main offices: 
421 Hudson Street, New York 14, N. Y. 35c per copy. Subscription: (12 copies) $3.50 per 
year in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South and Central America and U. S. Possessions. 
Elsewhere $4.50. Entered as second-class matter at the Post Office, New York, N. Y. Copyright, 
New York 1958, by Galaxy Publishing Corporation, Robert M. Guinn, president. All rights, includ- 
ing translations reserved. All material submitted must be accompanied by- self-addressed stamped 
envelopes. The publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. All stories printed in 
this magazine are fiction, and any similarity between characters and actual persons is coincidental. 

Printed in the U.S.A. by The Guinn Co., Inc., N. Y. Title Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. 



, 






ITS ALL YOURS 



T TP there is the recruiting title of 
^ the second editorial in Galaxy, 
way back in November 1950, and 
around it rallied the most enthusi- 
astic army of crusading readers sci- 
ence fiction has ever seen. Below 
that fighting slogan appeared a 
declaration that had never been 

made before — and is now being 
made again: 

"Most new magazines, especial- 
ly in the science fiction field, assure 
their readers that they are the read- 
ers' magazines and that suggestions 
are welcome and will be followed. 
The assurance, however, is hedged 
with unspoken reservations. 

"Galaxy offers the same assur- 



most widely read science fiction 
magazine in the world, with editions 
in the U.S., Canada, England, Ger- 
many, Italy, France (which in- 
cludes Belgium and Switzerland), 
Finland, Sweden, with more being 
negotiated? A new magazine? 

Yes, Galaxy, a new magazine! 

How new? New how? 
• First, size. Our daredevil experi- 
ment with the Galaxy Novels — 
a hard-headed bet that upgrading 
would pay off in these days of less 
and less for more and more — is 
paying off resoundingly. Readers 
know a lavish reading bargain 
when they see one. All right, we re- 
solved, we'll give them a Galaxy 



ance . . . but there are no reserva- magazine even more generous 

tions of any kind whatever. This is, 
literally and completely, your 

magazine. Your suggestions will be 
followed. Makeup, art, editorial 
content, everything from cover to 
cover, including the cover, you will 
decide for us. 



— 196 pages — a walloping 50% 
more pages than just about all our 
competitors are offering! 
• Next, quality. Not only will we 
not sacrifice quality — we'll inten- 
sify our campaign to improve it. 
Hold on a moment and we will tell 



"There is, in other words, nothing you just how you can help in that 



inflexible about Galaxy. Repeat, 
nothing. Not a single thing. A year 
from now, it may look entirely dif- 
ferent, and every change will be the 
result of alert study of readers'- 
wishes and willingness to put those . 
wishes into concrete form." 

New magazine? Galaxy? After 
eight years that have made it the 

4 



improvement. 

• Next, frequency. We kid you 
not at all — really good science fic- 
tion is, from the editorial side of 
the desk, harder to come by than 
perfect diamonds. It has to be 
mined out of authors with patience 
and care and tact — and blasting 
(Continued on page 142) 

GALAXY 



if interplanetary colonization ]'it . relative immortality 
^rivalry between the stars ^ESP £ matter transportation 



exceptional 

writers . . . 



* F. L. Wallace * Damon Knight 
James E. Gunn if J. T. Mcintosh if Theodore Sturgeon 

t 

. . . Now collected in one exceptional volume for the 
permanent library of every reader of Galaxy Magazine 



GAIAXY 

SHORT NOVBIS 

Edited by 

H. L. GOLD 

Published Oct. 2 Price $3.95 

Use coupon to order your copy. 




1 -^t 



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GALAXY PUBLISHING CORP. 

421 Hudson Street, New York 14, N.Y. 



Please send me copies 

of FIVE GALAXY SHORT NOVELS 
as soon as copies come off the 
press. I enclose □ check, Q cash, 
Q money order in the amount 
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NAME 



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1 







By FINN O'DONNEVAN 



Crompfon had made the most chancy possible 
mind bet — for winning it meant he literally 
had to collect himself on two crazy worlds! 



Illustrated by GOODMAN 



I 



4 



6 



GALAXY 




ALISTAIR Crompton ran 
into trouble during his 
first hour in Port Newton. 
On a lonely side street, two ragged 
men crowded him against a wall. 
One of them carried a little pen- 
knife, and the other had a strip 
of hardened tape across his knuck- 
les. They seemed to be vagrants 
and they weren't quite sober. 
The taller ragged man put his 



thick hand on Crompton's chest. 
"This is one of 'em, huh, Charlie?" 

"Yeah," Charlie said. "He's a 
Splitter. Let's bust him up." 

Crompton knew they must have 
recognized him from his distinctly 
shaped briefcase, which contained 
his Mikkleton Projector. Perhaps 
he should have put it into a regular 
suitcase. But he hadn't expected 
any trouble. 



JOI N NOW 



7 



I 



He still hadn't recovered from 
the long journey between Earth 
and Mars. He'd had cramps on 
the high-gravity climb to Station 
Three, and vertigo on the free-fall 
to Exchange Point. He had barely 
pulled himself together by the 
time Mars Station One was 
reached. There he had gone 
through the tedious routine of cus- 
toms, immigration and health, and 

learned how to use the auxiliary 
stomach-lung. Still spacesick, he 
had been given his visa and shut- 
tled down to Port Newton. 




OTH derelicts crowded close 
against him. "Lousy damned 
Splitter," Charlie said. 

"Robbing real men of work." 

"Mars be better off if we take 
care of him right now." 

"All the planets be better off." 

There it was, that fanatical 
hatred that some men had for the 
few with the courage and stability 
to Split. Crompton, trying to keep 
his voice steady, pointed out that 
Splitters took work from no one. 
On the contrary, they did work 
that regular men didn't want. 

"Then how come we're out of 
work?" Charlie challenged. 

Crompton resisted the urge to 
tell them they were obviously un- 
employable. Instead, he smiled 
stiffly and said he had come to 
Mars to reintegrate. That would 
leave a job open ... 

But the derelicts didn't want to 



hear anything reas9nable. They 
wanted a fight, and perhaps a mur- 
der. 

"Come on," Charlie said. "Fight 
me. I'll even put away the knife. 
Or fight Ed here." 

"Yeah," Ed said, rubbing the 
tape across his knuckles. 

Five years ago, Crompton would 
have taken on the men, together 
or singly, and to hell with the con- 
sequences. But that was before he 
had Split. Now his fear was al- 
most uncontrollable. The leering 
faces swam in front of him and 
he could feel his knees trembling. 

"Come on, fight" Charlie said, 
hitting him on the shoulder. 

Crompton wanted desperately 
to strike back, but he couldn't. The 
fighting part of himself was gone, 
Split away, working on Venus. 

"He's not going to fight," Charlie 
said. "Okay, let's bust up his brief- 
case." 

Crompton hugged it to his chest. 
Without the Projector, he couldn't 
reintegrate. And without reintegra- 
tion, he might as well not have 
risked leaving Earth. 

"Please," Crompton said, "I'm 
willing to pay—" 

Ed pulled back his fist. 

"Officer!" Crompton shouted. 
"Over here!" 

The vagrants looked around. 
Crompton shook free and sprinted 
away. He had used the oldest trick 
in the books; but perhaps it was 
new on Mars. 



8 



GALAXY 



Safe in a populated section of 
Port Newton, but trembling with 
reaction, he boarded the trans- 
planet rapido. It would take him 
to Elderberg, near the Martian 
South Pole. At that notorious city, 
Crompton hoped to find a man 
named Edgar Loomis. 

He had to find him; Loomis was 
crucial to him. For Loomis was 
one of the segments into which 
Crompton had Split. 

r f 1 HE Splitting technique had 
-*■ been devised originally to aid 
in the conquest of Venus. The 
planet held great riches for an 
Earth almost depleted of essen- 
tial metals, fossil fuels and uranium 
ores. But above all, Venus had 
room, lots of room for an over- 
crowded humanity. 

Mars could support only a small 
population, and the planet-bearing 
stars were too far away. Venus was 
the unlimited hope. But before the 
planet could be utilized, it had 
to be conquered. And this took 
men. 

Venus swallowed men and never 
gave them back. The mortality rate 
among the first pioneers was close 
to ninety per cent. When the news 
got back to Earth, the stream of 
recruits dried to a trickle. 

But the frontier had to be 
opened. 

Experiments were made with 
growth-androids. The most success- 



looked, heard, tasted, smelled and 
felt like a human. Its sponge-con- 
nection brain was more 'than ade- 
quate. It should have worked per- 
fectly. It didn't. 

The Durier chassis could be pro- 
grammed like any other machine. 
But it could not think. It was in- 
capable of foresight, reflection or 
initiative. It did not possess intel- 
ligence. Without these qualities, the 
Duriers were worthless on Venus. 

They were tried anyhow, and 
they died in the swamps and jun- 
gles. When the thousandth Durier 
tripped, fell into three inches of 
mud and was drowned, their in- 
adequacy was accepted. 

Further experiments were run, 
but there was no way to induce 
human capabilities in the Duriers. 
That could only be supplied by 
humans. The chassis had to be 
operated by a human mind — or 
even a portion of a human mind. 

The ancient phenomenon of 
schizophrenia was re-examined. In 
the past, all attention had been 
devoted toward healing splits in 
a human mind, synthesizing the 
two or more personalities that 
sometimes appeared in a single 
body. Now, experimenting on vol- 
unteers, scientists tried to deepen 
latent splits, harden the schisms, 
evoke the id, super-ego and libido 
components of the mind. 

Separation was easier than syn- 
thesis. The scientists were able to 



ful of these, the Durier chassis, develop separate personality ten- 



JOIN NOW 



9 



dencies in a mind, along the dis- 
tinct lines of the furious and 
aggressive id, the conscientious, 
hard-working super-ego, and the 
pleasure-seeking libido. 

The groundwork was prepared. 
There were potential mind-seg- 
ments to run the Durier chassis, 
without loss of the original per- 
sonality. But the development of 
Venus still had to wait until An- 
drew Mikkleton developed his 
projector. 




MIKKLETON Projector 
could be attached between 
Man and Durier chassis, linking 
the active human brain to the pas- 
sive sponge-connection receptacle. 
The Projector imposed its own 
electrical similarity patterns be- 
tween brain and brain, allowing 
them to become a temporary unity. 
With the Projector, a man could 
send his id or libido — but not his 
super-ego— into the Durier chassis. 

When Projector contact was 
broken, the Durier lived, its brain 
occupied by a personality separate 
and different from the original. 
Out of one man could come three. 

The government set up a volun- 
teer program for the extreme-sta- 
bility types needed for such a Split. 
The id-personalities — dominant, 
aggressive types — were badly 
needed on Venus. Earth, with its 
overpopulation stresses, wanted to 
retain the calm, conscientious su- 
per-ego types. And sterile Mars, 



developed by private corporations 
into a dozen great pleasure resorts, 
could use the insatiable pleasure- 
principle? Duriers as escorts always 
eager for a new sensation. 

Alistair Crompton passed the 
stability tests. He decided to Split 
with full knowledge of the conse- 
quences. Five-year Splitting con- 
tracts sold for good prices. Cromp- 
ton negotiated his with care, and 
used the proceeds to buy a plan- 
tation in the New York suburb of 
Antarctica. 

He was set for life. But there 
were certain dangers. 

His embodied id or libido, now 
two separate people, might not 
want to reintegrate with him; and 
there was no law to make them. 

One or both might be dead. In 
either case, Crompton would have 
to live out his life wtih a big chunk 
of his personality missing. And this 
would be highly unsatisfactory. 

Those were the risks. But the 
reward was great. 

Before Splitting, Alistair Cromp- 
ton had been a pleasant, normal 
man of thirty. After Splitting, with 
two-thirds of himself missing, with 
the super-ego rigid within him, he 
changed. He became petty, punc- 
tilious, cautious, nervous, puritani- 
cal, resentful, driven, circumspect 
and repressed. 

Crompton didn't like the changes 
in himself. For five years, he lived, 
made his plans, waited, and won- 
dered what the other portions of 



10 



GALAXY 



himself were like, what they were for the sheer novelty of the trip. 



doing on Mars and Venus. 

Now the contract time was up. 
Crompton, with his plantation 
waiting for him, could reintegrate, 
take back the missing parts of him- 
self through the Mikkleton Pro- 
jector, return to Earth, live in 
peace and prosperity . . . 

If he was able. 



A LONG the flat, monotonous 
^*- Martian plains, the rapido 
crawled past low gray shrubs strug- 
gling for existence in the cold, thin 
air, through swampy regions of 
dull green tundra. Crompton kept 
occupied with a book of cross- 
word puzzles. When the conductor 
announced they were crossing the 
Grand Canal, he looked up in mo- 
mentary interest. But it was mere- 
ly a shallowly sloping bed left by 
a vanished river. The vegetation in 
its muddy bottom was dark green, 
almost black. Crompton returned 
to his puzzle. 

They went through the Orange 
Desert, and stopped at little sta- 
tions where bearded, wide-hatted 
immigrants jeeped in for their 
vitamin concentrates and the 
microfilm Sunday Times. And fi- 
nally they reached the outskirts 
of Elderberg. 

This town was the focus for all 
South Polar mining and farming 
operations. But primarily it was 
a resort for the rich, who came to 
wallow in its Longevity Baths, and 



The region, warmed to 67 degrees 
Fahrenheit by volcanic action, was 
the warmest place on Mars. In- 
habitants usually referred to it 
as the Tropics. 

It was here that Edgar 
Loomis, Crompton's pleasure-prin- 
ciple, lived and worked. 

Crompton checked into a small 
motel, then joined the crowds of 
brightly dressed men and women 
who promenaded on Elderberg's 
quaint immovable sidewalks. He 
was able to recognize the male and 
female Durier chassis at once. The 
primary models in both sexes had 
been designed according to a very 
thorough survey of tourist prefer- 
ences, and so, of course, were even 
more stereotyped than the tourists 
themselves. 

Crompton peered into the gam- 
bling palaces, gawked at the shops 
selling Genuine Artifacts of the 
Missing Martian Race, peered into 
the novelty cocktail lounges and 
the glittering restaurants. He 
jumped with alarm when accosted 
by a painted young woman who in- 
vited him to Mama Tele's House, 
where low gravity made everything 
that was good better. He brushed 
off her and a dozen like her, and 
sat down in a little park to col- 
lect his thoughts. 

Elderberg lay around him, re- 
plete in its pleasures, gaudy in its 
vices, a painted Jezebel whom 
Crompton rejected with a curl of 



JOIN NOW 



11 



his now puritanical lips. And yet, 
for all his curled lips, averted eyes 
and nostrils indrawn in revulsion, 
he longed for the humanity of vice 
as an alternative to his present 
bleak and sterile existence. 

But, sadly, Elderberg could not 
corrupt him. Perhaps Edgar Loo- 
mis would supply the missing in- 
gredient. 

i 

/CROMPTON began his search 
^ in the hotels, taking them in 
alphabetic order. Clerks at the 
first three said they had no idea 
where Loomis was; and if he 
should be found, there was a little 
matter of unpaid bills. The fourth 
thought that Loomis might have 
joined the big prospecting rush at 
Saddle Mountain. The fifth hotel, 
a recent establishment, had only 
heard of Loomis. At the sixth, a 
brightly overdressed young woman 
laughed with a slight hysteric edge 
when she heard Loomis' name; 
but she refused to give any infor- 
mation. 

At the seventh hotel, the clerk 
told him that Edgar Loomis oc- 
cupied Suite 314. He was not in 
at present, but could probably be 
found in the Red Planet Saloon. 

Crompton asked directions. 
Then, his heart beating rapidly, 
he made his way into the older 
section of Elderberg. 

Here the hotels were stained 
and weathered, the paints worn, 
the plastics pitted by the seasonal 



dust storms. Here the gambling 
halls were crowded close together, 
and the dance halls blared their 
mirth at midday and midnight. 

Here the budget tourists clus- 
tered with their cameras and re- 
corders, in search of local color, 
hoping to encounter at a safe 
yet photographable distance the 
wicked glamor that led zealous 
promoters to call Elderberg the 
Ninevah of Three Planets. And 
here were the safari shops, outfit- 
ting parties for the famed descent 
into Xanadu Caverns or the long 
sandcar drive to Devil's Twist. 

Here also was the infamous 
Dream Shop, selling every narcotic 
known to Man, still in business 
despite legislative efforts to shut 
it down. And here the sidewalk 
hawkers sold bits of alleged Mar- 
tian drystone carving, or anything 
else you might desire. 

Crompton found the Red Planet 
Saloon, entered, and waited until 
he could see through the dense 
clouds of tobacco and kif. He 
looked at the tourists in their gaily 
colored shirts standing at the long 
bar, stared at the quick-talking 
guides and the dour rock miners. 
He looked at the gambling tables 
with their chattering women, and 
their men with the prized faint 
orange Martian tan that takes, it 
is said, a month to acquire. 

Then, unmistakably, he saw 
Loomis. 

Loomis was at the faro table, 



12 



GALAXY 



in company with a buxom blonde 
tourist woman who, at a first 
glance, looked thirty, at a second 
glance forty, and after a long care- 
ful look perhaps forty-five. She 
was gambling ardently, and Loomis 
was watching her with an amused 
smile. 

He was tall and slender, and 
elegant with his hairline moustache. 
His manner of dress was best ex- 
pressed by the crossword puzzle 
word nappy. He had mouse-brown 
hair sleeked back on a narrow 
skull. A woman not too choosy 

» 

might possibly have called him 
handsome. 

He didn't resemble Crompton; 
but there was an affinity, a pull, 
an instant sense of rapport that 
all Split members possess. Mind 
called to mind, the parts calling 
for the whole, with an almost tele- 
pathic intensity. And Loomis, sens- 
ing it, raised his head and looked 
full at Crompton. 

Crompton began walking toward 
him. Loomis whispered to the 
blonde, left the faro table and met 
Crompton in the middle of the 
floor. 

"Who are you?" Loomis asked. 

"Alistair Crompton. You're Loo- 
mis? I have the original body and 
— do you know what I'm talking 
about?" 

"Yes, of course," Loomis said. 
"I'd been wondering if you'd show 
up. Hmm." 

He looked Crompton up and 



down, and didn't seem too pleased 
with what he saw. 

"All right," Loomis said, "we'll 
go up to my suite and have a 
talk. Might as well get that' over 
with now." 

He looked at Crompton again, 
with undisguised distaste, and led 
him out of the saloon. 




OOMIS' suite was a wonder 
and a revelation. Crompton 
almost stumbled as his feet sank 
into the deep-piled oriental rug. 
The light in the room was dim 
and golden, and a constant succes- 
sion of faint and disturbing 
shadows writhed and twisted 
across the walls, taking on human 
shapes, coiling and closing with 
each other, transmuting into ani- 
mals and the blotchy forms of 
children's nightmares, and disap- 
pearing into the mosaic ceiling. 
Crompton had heard of shadow 
songs, but had never before wit- 
nessed one. 

Loomis said, "It's playing a 
rather fragile little piece called 
'Descent to Kartherum.' How do 
you like it?" 

"It's — impressive," said Cromp- 
ton. "It must be expensive." 

"I daresay," Loomis said care- 
lessly. "It was a gift. Won't you 
sit down?" 

Crompton settled into a deep 
armchair that conformed to his 
contours. The chair began, very 
gently, to massage his back. 



JOIN NOW 



13 



"Something to drink?" Loomis 
asked. 

Crompton nodded dumbly. Now 
he noticed the perfumes in the 
air, a complex and shifting mix- 
ture of spice and sweetness, with 
the barest hint of putrefaction. 

"That smell-" 

"It takes getting used to," 
Loomis said. "It's an olfactory 
sonata composed as an accom- 
paniment to the shadow song. But 
I'll turn it off - it's the kind of 

thing one must become educated 
to." 

He did so, and turned on some- 
thing else. Crompton heard a 
melody that seemed to originate 
in his own head. The tune was 
slow and sensuous and unbear- 
ably poignant, and it seemed to 
Crompton that he had heard it 
somewhere before, in another time 
and place. 

"It's called 'Deja Vu,'" Loomis 
said. "Direct aural transmission 
technique. Pleasant little thing, 
isn't it?" 

Crompton knew that Loomis 
was trying to impress him. And 
he was impressed. As Loomis 
poured drinks, Crompton looked 
around the room, at the sculptures, 
drapes, furniture and gadgets; he 
made an estimate of costs, added 
transportation charges and taxes 
from Terra, and totaled the result. 

Loomis had done dismayingly 
well as a gigilo. 

Loomis handed Crompton a 



glass. "It's mead," he said. "Quite 
the vogue in Elderberg this sesaon. 
Tell me what you think of it." 

Crompton sipped the honeyed 
beverage. "Delicious," he said. 
"Costly, I suppose." 

"Quite. But then the best p is 
only barely sufficient, don't you 
think?" 



CROMPTON didn't answer. 
He looked hard at Loomis 
and saw the signs of a decaying 
Durier chassis. Carefully he ob- 
served the neat, handsome fea- 
tures, the Martian tan, the smooth, 
mousy brown hair, the careless 
elegance of the clothes, the faint 
crows' feet in the corners of the 
eyes, the sunken cheeks on which 
was a trace of cosmetics. He ob- 
served Loomis' habitual self-in- 
dulgent smile, the disdainful twist 
to his lips, the way his nervous 
fingers stroked a piece of brocade, 
the complacent slump of his body 
against the exquisite furniture. 

In Loomis resided all Cromp- 
ton's 1 potentialities for pleasure, 
taken from him and set up as an 
entity in itself. Loomis, the pure 
pleasure-principle, vitally neces- 
sary to the Crompton mind-body. 

"You've done Very nicely," 
Crompton said. "As I suppose you 
know, I've come to Mars to rein- 
tegrate you." 

"Not interested," Loomis said. 

"You mean you wortt?" 

"Exactly," Loomis said. "You 



14 



GALAXY 



don't seem to realize that I'm per- 
forming an extremely valuable 
service here. You see, today every- 
thing is biased toward the poor, 
as though there were some spe- 
cial virtue in improvidence. Yet 
the rich have their needs and ne- 
cessities, too. These needs are un- 
like the needs of the poor, but no 
less urgent. The poor require 
food, shelter, medical attention. 
The government provides these 
admirably. 

"But what about the needs of 
the rich? People laugh at the idea 
of a rich man having problems, 
but does mere possession of credit 
exempt him from having prob- 
lems? It does not! Quite the con- 
trary, wealth increases need and 
sharpens necessity, often leaving 
a rich man in a more truly neces- 
sitous condition than his poor 
brother." 

Crompton had to remind him- 
self that this was a pure pleasure- 
principle speaking. He asked, "In 
that case, why doesn't the rich 
man give up his wealth?" 

"Why doesn't a poor man give 
up his poverty?" Loomis asked 
in return. "No, it can't be done; 
we must accept the conditions that 
life has imposed upon us. The bur- 
den of the rich is heavy; still, they 
must bear it, and seek aid where 
they can. The rich need sympathy; 
and I am very sympathetic. The 
rich need people around them who 
can truly enjoy luxury, and teach 



them how to enjoy it; and few, I 
think, enjoy and appreciate the 
luxuries of the rich as well as I 
do. And their women, Crompton! 
They have their needs — urgent, 
pressing needs, which their hus- 
bands frequently cannot fulfill due 
to the tensions under which they 
live. 

"These women cannot entrust 
themselves to any lout off the 
streets. They are nervous, highly 
bred, suspicious, these women, and 
very suggestible. They need nu- 
ance and subtlety. They need the 
attentions of a man of soaring 
imagination, yet possessed of an 
exquisite sensibility and an inex- 
haustible appetite. Such men are 
all too rare. My talents happen to 
lie in that particular direction. 
Therefore, I plan to go on exer- 
cising them." 




OOMIS leaned back with a 
smile. Crompton gazed at him 
with a certain horror. He found it 
difficult to believe that this cor- 
rupt, self-satisfied seducer, this 
creature with the morals of a mink 
was part of himself. But he was, 
and necessary to the fusion. 

"You don't seem to realize," 
Crompton said, "that you are in- 
complete, unfinished. You must 
have the same drive toward self- 
realization that I have. And it's 
possible only through reintegra- 
tion." 

I 

"Perfectly true," Loomis agreed. 



JOIN NOW 



15 



"Then-" 

"No," said Loomis. "I have an 
urge toward self-completion. But 
I, have a much stronger urge to 
go on living exactly as I am liv- 
ing, in a manner I find eminently 
satisfactory. Luxury has its com- 
pensations, you know." 

"Perhaps you've forgotten," 
Crompton said, "that you are liv- 
ing in a Durier chassis which has 
an estimated competence of twelve 
years. Five of them are gone. If 
you don't reintegrate, you have a 
maximum of seven more years of 
life. A maximum, mind you. Durier 
chassis have been known to break 
down in less." 



^HP HAT'S true," Loomis ad- 

■*■ mitted, frowning slightly. 

"Reintegration won't be so bad," 
Crompton said, in what he hoped 
was a winning manner. "Your 
pleasure impulse won't be lost. 
It'll merely be put into better pro- 
portion." 

Loomis thought hard, drawing 
on his pale ivory cigarette. Then 
he looked Crompton full in the 
face and said, "No." 

"But your future-" 

"I'm simply not the sort of 
person who can worry about the 
future," Loomis said, with a smug 
smile. "It's enough for me to live 
through each day, savoring it to 
the fullest. Seven years from now 
— why, who knows what will hap- 

i 

pen seven years from now? Seven 



years is an eternity! Something 
will probably turn up." 

Crompton resisted a strong de- 
sire to throttle some sense into 
Loomis. Of course the pleasure- 
principle lived only in the ever- 
present now, giving no thought to 
a distant and uncertain future. 
Seven years' time was unthink- 
able to the now-centered Loomis. 
He should have thought of that. 

Keeping his voice calm, Cromp- 
ton said, "Nothing will turn up. 
In seven years — seven short years 
— you will die." 

Loomis shrugged. "It's my 
policy never to worry past Thurs- 
day. Tell you what, old man. I'll 
look you up in three or four years 
and we'll discuss it then." 

"It'll never work," Crompton 
told him. "You'll be on Mars, I'll 
be on Earth, and our other com- 
ponent will be on Venus. We'll 
never get together in time. Be- 
sides, you won't even remember." 

"We'll see, we'll see," Loomis 
said, glancing at his watch. "And 
now, if you don't mind, I'm ex- 
pecting a visitor soon—" 

Crompton arose. "If you change 
your mind, I'm staying at the Blue 
Moon Motel. I'll just be here for 
another day or two." 

"Have a pleasant stay," Loomis 
said. "Be sure to see the Xanadu 
Caverns. Fabulous sight!" 

Thoroughly numbed, Crompton 
left Loomis' ornate suite and re- 
turned to his motel. 



16 



GALAXY 



THAT evening, Crompton ate 
at a snack counter, consuming 
a Marsburger and a Red Malted. 
At a newsstand, he found a book 
of acrostics. He returned to his 
room, filled in three puzzles, and 
went to sleep. 

The next day, he tried to de- 
cide what to do. There seemed 
to be no way of convincing 
Loomis. Should he go to Venus 
and find Dan Stack, the other 
missing portion of his personality? 
No, that would be worse than use- 
less. Even if Stack were willing to 
reintegrate, they would still be 
missing a vital third of themselves 
— Loomis, the all-important pleas- 
ure-principle. Two-thirds would 
crave completion more passionate- 
ly than one-third, and be in more 
desperate straits without it. And 
Loomis would not be convinced. 

Under the circumstances, 
Crompton's only course was to 
return to Earth un-reintegrated, 
and make whatever adjustments 
he could. There was, after all, a 
humorless joy in hard, dedicated 
work, a grim pleasure in steadi- 
ness, circumspection, dependabili- 
ty. The frugal virtues of the super- 
ego were not to be overlooked. 

But he found it difficult to con- 
vince himself. And with a heavy 
heart he telephoned Elderberg 
Depot and made a reservation on 
the evening rapido to Port New- 
ton. 

As he was packing, an hour be- 



fore the rapido left, his door was 
suddenly flung open. Edgar 
Loomis stepped in, looked quick- 
ly around, shut the door behind 
him and locked it. 



ary. 



I ve changed my mind," Loomis 
said. "I've decided to reintegrate." 

Crompton's first feeling of joy 
was stifled in a wave of suspicion. 

"What made you change your 
mind?" he asked. 

"Does it really matter?" Loomis 
said. "Can't we-" 

"I want to know why." 

"Well, it's a little difficult to ex- 
plain. You see, I had just—" 

There was a heavy rapping on 
the door. Loomis turned pale un- 
der his orange tan. "Please!" 

"Tell me," Crompton implaca- 
bly insisted. 

Beads of sweat appeared on 
Loomis' forehead. "Just one of 
those things," he said quickly. 
"Sometimes husbands don't ap- 
preciate one's little attentions to 
their wives. Even the rich can be 
shockingly bourgeois at times. So, 
once or twice a year, I find it 
expedient to take a little vaca- 
tion in a cave I've furnished at 
All Diamond Mountain. It's really 
very comfortable, though the food 
is necessarily plain. In a few 
weeks, the whole thing blows 



over. 



y> 



A S the knocking at the door 
-^*- grew louder, a bass voice 
shouted, "I know you're in there, 



JOIN NOW 



17 



Loomis! Come out or I'll break 
down this damned door and wrap 
it around your slimy neck!" 

Loomis' hands were trembling 
uncontrollably. "I have a dread 
of physical violence. Couldn't we 
simply reintegrate and then I'll 
explain—" 

"I want to know why you didn't 
go to your cave this time," Cromp- 
ton said. 

They heard the sound of a body 
slamming heavily against the door. 

Loomis said shrilly, "It was all 
your fault, Crompton! Your com- 
ing here unsettled me. Me, caught 
in the act! I barely escaped, with 
that fantastic muscular neander- 
thal idiot of a husband following 
me around town, searching the 
saloons and hotels, threatening to 
break my limbs. I didn't have 
enough ready cash to hire a sand- 
car and there was no time to 
pawn my jewelry. And the police 
just grinned and refused to pro- 
tect me! Crompton, please!" 

The door bulged under repeated 
blows, and the lock began to give. 
Crompton turned to his person- 
ality component, grateful that 
Loomis' essential inadequacy had 
shown up in time. 

Quickly, he unzipped his brief- 
case and removed the Mikkleton 
Projector. He fastened the main 
electrodes to his forehead, while 
Loomis plugged his own connec- 
tions into the tiny holes behind 
each ear which had been left for 



that purpose. Crompton adjusted 
the similarity-patterns on the con- 
trol board until they were in phase. 

"Ready?" he asked. 

Loomis nftdded. 

f 1 ROMPTON closed the switch. 
^ Loomis gasped and his Durier 
chassis collapsed, folding in on 
itself. At the same moment, 
Crompton's knees buckled as 
though a weight had landed on 
his shoulders. 

The lock gave way and the door 
slammed open. A short, red-eyed, 
thickly constructed, black-haired 
man came into the room. 

"Where is he?" the man shouted. 

"Reintegrated," said Crompton, 
letting him see the projector be- 
fore it was packed into its brief- 



"Oh," said the black-haired man, 
caught between rage and shock. 
He goggled dpwn at the body 
stretched on the floor. "Pretty 
hard to realize it's just a deacti- 
vated chassis . . ." 

Crompton zipped the briefcase. 

"Thaf s all it is." 

"But reintegration . . ." said the 
man. He shuddered, looked at 
Crompton with concern. "You all 

right?" 

"As well as can be expected. 

One down, one to go." 

"Then you must be damned un- 
comfortable. Anything I can do?" 

Using Crompton's lips, Loomis 
unexpectedly spoke up. "Well, 



18 



GALAXY 



S< 






yes, if you'd be so good." Cromp- 
ton tried to shut him up, but 
Loomis pushed right on. "I under- 
stand your wife liked to come 
here because of the decor." 

"So what?" demanded the man, 
starting to bristle again. 

"It made him look good," 
Loomis said, nodding Crompton's 
head at the inert chassis. "A hand- 
some setting like this would make 
any man look good." 

The man glanced around. "I 
guess it would. What have you got 
in mind?" 

"I have no use for these fur- 
nishings and jewelry, and you — 
well, lefs say you might benefit 
by them. Sure to, as a matter of 
fact. If you could see your way 
toward taking them off my 

hands . . " 

Crompton stayed out of the bar- 
gaining, which, after the chassis' 
cremation and payment of Loomis' 
bills, provided him with nearly 
three thousand badly needed dol- 
lars. Instead of having to hang 
around straightening out the finan- 
cial mess Loomis had left, Cromp- 
ton, with the help of his wily 
pleasure-principle, was able to 
catch the evening rapido. 



THE long ride across the Mar- 
tian plains came as a much 
needed breathing spell. It gave 
Crompton and Loomis a chance 
to make a true acquaintance, and 
to settle basic problems which two 



minds in one body are bound to 
encounter. 

There was no question of as- 
cendency. Crompton was the basic 
personality; under normal circum- 
stances, Loomis could not take 

1 

over, and had no desire to do so. 
Loomis accepted his passive role 
and resigned himself, with typical 
ease, to the status of commentator, 
adviser and general well-wisher. 

But there was no reintegration. 
Crompton and Loomis existed in 
the one mind like planet and moon, 
independent, but closely related 
entities, cautiously testing each 
other out, unwilling and unable to 
relinquish personal autonomy. A 
certain amount of seepage was tak- 
ing place, of course; but the fusion 
of a single stable personality out 
of its discrete elements could not 
take place until Dan Stack, the 
third component, had entered. 

■- 

The rapido reached Port New- 
ton, and Crompton shuttled to 
Mars Station One. He went 
through customs, immigration and 
health, and caught the hopover 
to Exchange Point. There he had 
to wait fifteen days for a Venus- 
bound ship to depart. The brisk 
young ticket clerk spoke about the 
problems of "opposition" and 
"economical orbits," but neither 
Crompton nor Loomis understood 
what he was talking about. 

At last the Venus ship lifted. 
Crompton set to work learning 
Basic Yggdra, root language of 



JOIN NOW 



19 






the Venusian aboriginals. Loomis, 
for the first time in his life, tried 
to work too, tackling the complexi- 
ties of Yggdra. He quickly became 
bored with its elaborate conjuga- 
tions and declensions, but persisted 
to the best of his ability, and mar- 
veled at the studious, hard-work- 
ing Crompton. 

In return, Crompton made a 
few tentative advances into the 
appreciation of beauty. Aided and 
instructed by Loomis, he attended 
the ship's concerts, looked at the 
paintings in the main salon, and 
stared long and earnestly at the 
brilliant glowing stars from the 
ship's observation port. It all 
seemed a considerable waste of 
time, but he persevered. 

i^|N the tenth day out, their co- 
^-* operation was threatened by 
the wife of a second-generation 
Venusian planter whom Crompton 
met in the observation port. She 
had been on Mars for a tubercu- 
losis cure and now was going 
home. 

She was small, bright-eyed and 
vivacious, with a slender figure 
and glistening * black hair. She was 
bored by the long passage through 
space. 

They went to the ship's lounge. 
After four martinis, Crompton was 
able to relax and let Loomis come 
to the fore, which he did with 
a will. Loomis danced with her 
to the ship's phonograph, then gen- 



erously receded, leaving Cromp- 
ton in command, nervous, flushed, 
tanglefooted and enormously 
pleased. And it was Crompton who 
led her back to the table, Cromp- 
ton who made small talk with her, 
and Crompton who touched her 
hand, while the complacent Loomis 
looked on. 

At nearly two a.m., ship's time, 
the girl left, after pointedly men- 
tioning her room number. Cromp- 
ton reeled deliriously back to his 
own room on B deck, and col- 
lapsed happily on the Ded. 

"Well?" Loomis asked. 

"Well what?" 

"Let's go. The invitation was 
clear enough." 

' "There was no invitation," 
Crompton said, puzzled. 

"She mentioned her room num- 
ber," Loomis pointed out. "That, 
together with the other events of 
the evening, constitutes almost a 
command." 

"I can't believe it!" 

"Take my word," Loomis told 
him. "The invitation is clear, the 
course is open. Onward!" 

"No, no," Crompton said, flooded 
with his own super-ego. "I wouldn't 
— I mean I don't — I couldn't—" 

"Lack of experience is no ex- 
cuse," declared Loomis. "Nature 
is exceedingly generous in help- 
ing one to discover her ways. Con- 
sider also the fact that creatures 
without a hundredth of your in- 
telligence manage to perform in 



20 



GALAXY 



exemplary fashion what you find 
so baffling. Surely you won't let 
a mouse outdo you!" 

Crompton got to his feet, wiped 
his glowing forehead, and took two 
tentative steps toward the door. 
Then he wheeled and sat down 
on the bed. 

"Absolutely not," he said firmly. 

"But why?" 

"It would be unethical. The 

young lady is married." 

"Marriage," Loomis said pa- 
tiently, "is a man-made institution. 
But before marriage there were 
men and women, and certain 
modes between them. Natural 
laws always take precedence over 
human legislation." 

"It's immoral," Crompton said, 
without much vigor. 

fflVrOT at all," Loomis assured 
-L^ him. "You are unmarried, 
so no possible blame can attach 
to you for your actions. The young 
lady is married. That's her respon- 
sibility, perhaps also her problem. 
But remember, she is a human be- 
ing capable of making her own 
decisions, not some mere chattel 
of her husband. Her decision has 
been made and we must respect 
her integrity in the matter; to do 
otherwise would be insulting. Fi- 
nally, there is the husband. He 
will know nothing of this and 
therefore will not be injured by 
it. In fact, he will gain. For his 
wife, in recompense, will be un- 



usually pleasant to him. He will 
assume that this is because of his 
appealing qualities and his ego 
will be bolstered thereby. So you 
see, Crompton, everyone will gain 
and no one will lose." 

"Sheer sophistry," Crompton 
said, standing up again and mov- 
ing toward the door. 

"Atta boy," Loomis cheered him 
on. 

I 

Crompton grinned idiotically 
and opened the door. Then a 
thought struck him and he 
slammed the door shut and lay 
down on the bed. 

"Absolutely not," Crompton 
said. 

"What's the matter now?" asked 
Loomis in dismay. 

"The reasons you gave me may 
or may not be sound. At the 
present time, I can't judge. But 
one thing I do know. / will not 
engage in anything of this sort 
while you're watching!" 

"But — damn it, I'm you! You're 
me! We're two parts of one per- 
sonality!" 

"Not yet, we aren't," Crompton 
said. "We exist now as schizoid 
parts, two people in one body. 
Later, after reintegration has taken 
place . . . But under the present 
circumstances, my sense of de- 
cency forbids me from doing what 
you suggest. It's unthinkable! I 
don't wish to discuss the matter 
any further." 

At that, Loomis lost his 



JOIN NOW 



21 



temper. The pleasure-principle, 
thwarted from the fundamental 
expression of himself, raved and 
shouted and called Crompton 
many hard names, the least of 
which was "yellow-livered coward." 
His anger set up reverberations 
in Crompton's mind and echoed 
throughout their entire shared or- 
ganism. The schism lines between 
the two personalities deepened; 
new fissures appeared, and the 
break threatened to isolate the 
two minds in true Jekyll-and-Hyde 
fashion. 



/^ ROMPTON'S dominant per- 

^-^ sonality carried him past that. 
But, in a furious rage at Loomis, 
his mind began to produce anti- 
dols. Those still not fully under- 
stood little entities, like leucocytes 
in the bloodstream, had the task 
of expunging pain and walling off 
the sore spot in the mind. 

Loomis shied back in fright as 
the antidols began building their 
cordon sanitaire around him, 
crowding him, folding him back 
on himself, walling him off. 

"Crompton! Please!" 

Loomis was in danger of being 
completely and irrevocably sealed 
off, lost forever in a black corner 
of the Crompton mind. And lost 
with him would be any chance for 
reintegration. But Crompton man- 
aged to regain his stability in 
time. The flow of antidols stopped; 
the wall dissolved, and Loomis 



shakily regained his position. 

For a while, however, they 
weren't on speaking terms. Loomis 
sulked and brooded for an entire 
day, and swore he would never 
forgive Crompton's brutality. But 
above all he was a sensualist, liv- 
ing forever in t*he moment, forget- 
ful of the past, incapable of worry 
about the future. His resentments 
passed quickly, leaving him serene 
and amused as always. 

Crompton was not so forgetful, 
but he recognized his responsibili- 
ties as the dominant part of the 
personality. He worked to main- 
tain the cooperation, and the two 

* 

personalities were soon operating 

at their fullest potential sympathy. 

By mutual consent, they 

avoided the company of the young 

lady. The rest of the trip passed 
quickly, and at last Venus was 
reached. 



THEY were set down in Satel- 
lite Three, where they passed 
through customs, immigration and 
health. They received shots for 
Creeping Fever, Venus Plague, 
Knight's Disease, and Big Itch. 
They were given powders in case 
of Swamp Decay and pills to ward 
off Bluefoot. Finally they were 
permitted to take the shuttle down 
to the mainland embarkation de- 
pot of Port New Haarlem. 

This city, on the western shore 
of the sluggish Inland Zee, was 
situated in Venus' temperate zone. 



22 



GALAXY 



Still they were uncomfortably 
warm after the chill, invigorating 
climate of Mars. Here they saw 
their first Venusian aboriginals 
outside a circus; saw hundreds of 
them, in fact. The natives aver- 
aged five feet in height, and their 
scaly armored hides showed their 
remote lizard ancestry. Along the 
sidewalks they walked erect; but 
often, to avoid crowds, they moved 
across the vertical sides of build- 
ings, clinging with the sucker disks 
on their hands, feet, knees and 
forearms. 

Many buildings had barbed wire 
to protect their windows, for these 
detribalized natives were reputed 
to be thieves, and their only sport 
was assassination. 

Crompton spent a day in the 
city, then took a helicopter to 
East Marsh, the last known ad- 
dress of Dan Stack. The ride was 
a monotonous whirring and flap- 
ping through dense cloud banks 
which blocked all view of the sur- 
face. The search-radar pinged 
sharply, hunting for the shifting in- 
version zones where the dreaded 
Venusian tornado, the zicre, some- 
times burst into violent life. But 
the winds were gentle on this trip, 
and Crompton slept most of the 
way. 

East Marsh was a busy shipping 
port on a tributary of the Inland 
Zee. Crompton found the boarding 
house where Stack had lived, run 
by a couple now in their eighties 



and showing signs of senility. They 
had been very fond of Stack. Dan 
always meant well, though he was 
a bit hasty sometimes. They as- 
sured Crompton that the affair of 
the Morrison girl wasn't true. Dan 
must have been falsely accused. 
Dan would never do such a thing 
to a poor defenseless girl. 

?f W HERE can I find Dan? " 

** Crompton asked. 
"Ah," said the old man, blink- 
ing his watery eyes, "didn't you 
know Dan left here? Three years 
ago, it was." 

"East Marsh was too dull for 
him," the old lady said, with a 
touch of venom. "So he borrowed 
our little nest egg and left in the 
middle of the night, while we were 
sleeping." 

"Didn't want to bother us," the 
old man quickly explained. 
"Wanted to seek his fortune, Dan 
did. And I wouldn't be surprised 
but what he found it. Had the stuff 
of a real man, Dan did." 

"Where did he go?" 

"Couldn't rightly say," the old 
man said. "He never wrote us. 
Never much of a hand with words, 
Dan. But Billy Davis saw him in 
Ou-Barkar that time he drove his 
semi there with a load of potatoes." 

"When was that?" 

"Maybe two years ago," the old 
lady said. "That's the last we ever 
heard of Dan. Venus is a big place, 
mister." 



JOIN NOW 



23 



s 



Crompton thanked the old 
couple. He tried to locate Billy 
Davis for further information, but 
found that he was working as third 
mate of a pocket freighter. The 

| 

ship had sailed a month ago and 
was making stops at all the nasty 
little ports on the Southern In- 
land Zee. 

"Well," Crompton said, "there's 
only one thing to do. We'll have 
to go to Ou-Barkar." 

"I suppose so," Loomis said. 
"But frankly, old man, I'm be- 
ginning to wonder about this Stack 
fellow." 

"I am too," Crompton admitted. 
"But he's part of us and we need 
him in the reintegration." 

"I guess we do," Loomis said. 
"Lead on, oh, Elder Brother." 

Crompton led on. He caught a 
helicopter to Depotsville and a 
bus to St. Denis. Here he was 
able to hitch a ride in a semi 
bound across the marshes to Ou- 
Barkar with a load of insecticides. 
The driver was glad of company 
across the desolate Wetlands. 

During that fourteen-hour trip, 
Crompton learned much about 
Venus. 

To this raw new planet came 
the pioneering types, spiritual and 
sometimes actual descendants of 
the American frontiersmen, Boer 
farmers, Israeli kibbutzniks and 
Australian ranchers. Whole men 
and Splitters fought side by side 
for a foothold on the fertile 



steppes, the ore-rich mountains, 
and by the shores of the warm 



They fought with the Stone 
Age aboriginals, the lizard-evolved 
Ais. Their great victories at Satan's 
Pass, Squareface, Albertsville and 
Double Tongue, and their defeats 
at Slow River and Blue Falls were 
already a part of human history, 
fit to stand beside Chancellors- 
ville, the Little Big Horn, and 
Dienbienphu. 

And the wars were not over yet. 
On Venus, the driver told them, a 
world was still to be won. 

Crompton listened, thought he 
might like to be a part of all 
this. Loomis was frankly bored by 
the whole matter and disgusted 
with the rank swamp odors. 




(J-BARKAR was a cluster of 
plantations deep in the in- 
terior of White Cloud Continent. 
Twenty Whole men supervised 
the work of five hundred Splitters 
and two thousand aboriginals, who 
planted, tended and harvested the 
li-trees that grew only in that sec- 
tor. The li fruit, gathered twice a 
year, was the basis of elispice, a 
condiment now considered indis- 
pensable in Terran cooking. 

Crompton met the foreman, a 
huge, red-faced man named 
Haaris, who wore a revolver on 
his hip and a blacksnake whip 
coiled neatly around his waist. 

"Dan Stack?" the foreman said. 



24 



GALAXY 



"Sure, Stack worked here. He left 
with a boot in the rear to help 
him on his way." 

"Do you mind telling me why?" 
Crompton asked. « 

"Don't mind at all," the fore- 
man said. "But let's do it over a 
drink." 

He led Crompton to Ou-Bar- 
kar's single saloon. There, over a 
glass of local cactus whiskey, 
Haaris talked about Dan Stack. 

"He came up here from East 
Marsh. I believe he'd had some 
trouble with a girl down there — 
kicked in her teeth or something. 
But that's no concern of mine. 
Most of us here are Splitters, and 
we aren't exactly gentle types. I 
guess the cities are damned well 
rid of us. I put Stack to work over- 
seeing fifty Ais on a hundred-acre 
li field. He did damned well at 
first." 

The foreman downed his drink. 
Crompton ordered another and 
paid for it. 

"I told him," Haaris said, "that 
he'd have to drive his boys to get 
anything out of them. We use 
mostly Chipetzi tribesmen, and 
they're a sullen, treacherous bunch, 
though husky. Their chief rents us 
workers on a twenty-year con- 
tract, in exchange for guns. Then 
they try to pick us off with the 
guns, but that's another matter. 
We handle one thing at a time." 

"A twenty - year contract?" 
Crompton echoed. "Then the Ais 



are practically slave laborers?" 

"Right," the foreman said de- 
cisively. "Some of the owners try 
to pretty it up, call it temporary 
indenture or feudal-transition 
economy. But if s slavery, . and 
why not call it that? It's the only 
way we'll ever civilize these crea- 
tures. Stack understood that. Big 
hefty fellow he was, and handy 

with a whip. I thought he'd do 
all right." 

CROMPTON ordered another 
drink for the foreman. "And?" 
he prompted. 

"At first he was fine," Haaris 
said. "Laid on with the black- 
snake, got out his quota and then 
some. But he hadn't any sense of 
moderation. Started killing his na- 
tives with the whip, and replace- 
ments cost money. I told him to 
take it a little easier. He didn't. 
One day his Chipetzis ganged up 
on him and he had to gun down 
about eight before they backed 
off. I had a heart-to-heart talk 
with him. Told him the idea was 
to get work out, not kill Ais. We 
expect to lose a certain percent- 
age, of course. But Stack was 
pushing it too far and cutting 
down the profit." 

The foreman spat and lighted a 
cigarette. "Stack just liked using 
that whip too much. Lots of the id- 
boys do, but Stack had no sense 
of moderation. His Chipetzis 
ganged up again and he had to 



JOIN NOW 



25 



kill about a dozen of them. But pacified territory, so you should 



he lost a hand in the fight. His 
whip hand. I think a Chipetzi 

chewed it off. 

"I put him to work in the dry- 
ing sheds, but he got into another 
fight and killed four Ais. Well, that 
was just too much. Those workers 
cost money and we can't have 
some hot-headed idiot killing them 
off every time he gets sore. I gave 
Stack his pay and told him to 
get the hell out." 

"Did he say where he was go- 
ing?" Crompton asked. 

"He said we didn't realize that 
the Ais had to be wiped out to 
make room for Terrans. Said he 
was going to join the Vigilantes. 
They're a sort of roving army that 
keeps the unpacified tribes in 
check." 

Crompton thanked the foreman 
and inquired for the location of 
the Vigilantes' headquarters. 

"Right now they're encamped 
on the left bank of the Rainmaker 
River," Haaris said. "They're try- 
ing to make terms with the Seriid. 
You want to find Stack pretty bad, 
huh?" 

"I have to find him," Crompton 

said. 

Haaris looked at the briefcase 

in Crompton's hand and shrugged 
fatalistically. "It's a long trek to 
Rainmaker River. I can sell you 
pack mules and provisions, and 
I'll rent you a native youngster 
for a guide. You'll be going through 




reach the Vigilantes all right. I 
think the territory's still pacified." 

I 

OOMIS, that night, urged 

Crompton to abandon the 
search. Stack was obviously a thief 
and murderer. What was the sense 
of taking him into the combina- 
tion? 

Crompton felt that the case 
wasn't as simple as that. For one 
thing, the stories about Stack 
might have been exaggerated. But 
even if they were true, it simply 
meant that Stack was an inade- 
quate monolithic personality ex- 
tended past all normal bounds, as 
were Crompton and Loomis. With- 
in the combination, in fusion, the 

id would be modified. Stack would 

■ 

supply the necessary measure of 
aggression, the toughness and sur- 
vival fitness that both Crompton 
and Loomis lacked. 

Loomis didn't think so, but 
agreed to suspend judgment un- 
til they actually met their missing 
component. 

/ In the morning, Crompton pur- 
chased equipment and mules at 
an exorbitant price, and the fol- 
lowing day he set out at dawn, 
led by a Chipetzi youngster named 
Rekki. 

Crompton jogged after the 
guide through virgin forest into 
the Thompson Mountains, up 
razorback ridges, across cloud- 
covered peaks into narrow granite 



26 



GALAXY 



passes where the wind screamed 
like the tormented dead, then 
down into the dense and steamy 
jungle on the other side. 

Loomis, appalled by the hard- 
ships of the march, retreated into 
a corner of the mind and emerged 
only in the evenings when the 
campfire was lit and the ham- 
mock slung. 

Crompton, with set jaw and 

bloodshot eyes, stumbled through 
the burning days, bearing the full 
sensory impact of the journey and 
wondering how long his strength 
would last. 

On the eighteenth day, they 
reached the banks of a shallow 
muddy stream. This, Rekki said, 
was the Rainmaker River. Two 
miles farther on, they found the 
Vigilante camp. 

The Vigilante commander, Col- 
onel Prentice, was a tall, spare, 
gray-eyed man who showed the 
marks of a recent wasting fever. 
He remembered Stack very well. 

"Yes, he was with us for a while. 
I was uncertain about accepting 
him. His reputation, for one thing. 
And a one-handed man . . . But 
he'd trained his left hand to fire 
a gun better than most do with 
their right, and he had a bronze 
fitting over his right stump. Made 
it himself and it was grooved to 
hold a machete. No lack of guts, 
I'll tell you that. But I had to 
cashier him." 

"Why?" Crompton asked. 



f X^HE commander sighed unhap- 
-■- pily. "Contrary to popular be- 
lief, we Vigilantes are not a free- 
booting army of conquest. We are 
not here to decimate and destroy 
the natives. Nor are we here to 
annex new territories upon the 
slightest pretext. We are here to 
enforce treaties entered into in 
good faith by Ais and settlers, to 
prevent raiding by Ais and Ter- 
rans alike, and, in general, to keep 
the peace. Stack had difficulty get- 
ting that through his thick skull." 
Some expression must have 
passed across Crompton's face, for 
the commander nodded sym- 
pathetically. 

"You know what a really ram- 
pant id is like, eh? Then you can 
imagine what happened. I didn't 
want to lose him. He was a tough 
and able soldier, skilled in forest 
and mountain lore, perfectly at 
home in the jungle. The Border 
Patrol is thinly spread and we 
need every man we can get, Whole 
or Split. Stack was valuable. I 

told the sergeants to keep him in 
line and allow no brutalizing of 
the natives. For a while, it worked. 
Stack was trying hard. He was 
learning our rules, our code, our 
way of doing things. His record 
was unimpeachable. Then came 
the Shadow Peak incident, which 
I suppose you've heard about." 

"I'm afraid I haven't," Cromp- 
ton said. 

"Really? I thought everyone on 



JO! N NOW 



27 






Venus had. Well, the situation was 
this. Stack's patrol had rounded up 
nearly a hundred Ais of an out- 
law tribe that had been causing 
us some trouble. They were being 
conducted to the special reserva- 
tion at Shadow Peak. On the 
march, there was a little trouble, a 
scuffle. One of the Ais had a knife 
and he slashed Stack across the 
right wrist. 

"I suppose losing one hand 
made Stack especially sensitive to 
the possible loss of another. The 
wound was superficial, but he ber- 
serked. He killed the native with 
a riot gun, then turned it on the 
rest of them. A lieutenant had to 
bludgeon him into unconscious- 
ness before he could be stopped. 
The damage to Terran-Ais rela- 
tions was immeasurable. I couldn't 
have a man like that in my out- 
fit, so, as I said, I cashiered him." 

"Where is he now?" asked 
Crompton. 

"I heard he drifted to Port New 
Haarlem and worked for a while 
on the docks. He teamed up with 
a chap named Barton Finch. Both 
were jailed for drunk and disor- 
derly conduct, got out and drifted 
back to the White Cloud frontier. 
Now he and Finch own a little 
trading store up near Blood Delta." 

Crompton rubbed his forehead 
wearily and said, "How do I get 
there?" 

canoe," the commander 
said. "You go down the Rain- 



"By 



maker River to where it forks. 
The left-hand stream is Blood 
River. It's navigable all the way 
to Blood Delta. But I would not 
advise the trip. For one thing, it's 
extremely hazardous. For another, 
it would be useless. You want to 
reintegrate him? Don't try. He's 
a bred-in-the-bone killer. He's bet- 
ter off alone on the frontier, where 
he can't do much damage." 

"I must reintegrate," Cromp- 
ton said, his throat suddenly dry. 

"There's no law against it," said 
the commander, with the air of a 
man who has done his duty. 



^ ROMPTON found that Blood 




28 



Delta was Man's farthest 
frontier on Venus. It lay in the 
midst of hostile Grel and Tengtzi 
tribesmen, with whom a precarious 
peace was maintained, and an in- 
cessant guerrilla war was ignored. 
There was great wealth to be 
gained in the Delta country. The 
natives brought in fist-sized dia- 
monds and rubies, sacks of the 
rarest spices, and an occasional 
flute or carving from the lost city 
of Alteirne. They traded these 
things for guns and ammunition, 
which they used enthusiastically 
on the traders and on each other. 
There was wealth to be found in 
the Delta, and sudden death, and 
slow, painful, lingering death as 
well. The Blood River, which 
wound slowly into the heart of the 
Delta country, had its own special 

GALAXY' 



hazards, which usually took a fifty 
per cent toll of travelers upon it. 

Crompton resolutely shut his 
mind to all common sense. His 
component, Stack, lay just ahead 
of him. The end was in sight and 
Crompton was determined to 
reach it. So he bought a canoe 
and hired four native paddlers, 
purchased supplies, guns, ammu- 
nition, and arranged for a dawn 
departure. 

But the night before he planned 
to go, Loomis revolted. 

They were in a small tent which 
the commander had put aside for 
Crompton's use. By a smoking 
kerosene lamp, Crompton was 
stuffing cartridges into a bandolier, 
his attention fixed on the imme- 
diate task and unwilling to look 
elsewhere. 

Loomis said, "Now listen to me. 
I've recognized you as the domi- 
nant personality. I've made no at- 
tempt to take over the body. I've 
been in good spirits and I've kept 
you in good spirits while we 
tramped halfway around Venus. 
Isn't that true?" 

"Yes, it is," Crompton said, re- 
luctantly putting down the ban- 
dolier. 

"I've done the best I could, but 
this isn't fun any longer. I want 
reintegration, but not with a homi- 
cidal maniac. Don't talk to me 
about monolithic personalities. 
Stack's homicidal and I want 
nothing to do with him." 



"He's a part of us," said Cromp- 
ton. 



T OOMIS said, "Just listen to 
■" yourself, Crompton! You're 
supposed to be the component 
most in touch with reality. And 
you're completely obsessed, plan- 
ning on sending us into sure death." 

"We'll get through all right," 
Crompton said, with more certain- 
ty than he felt. 

"Will we?" Loomis asked. 
"Have you listened to the stories 
about Blood River? And even if 
we do make it, what will we find 
at the Delta? A homicidal maniac! 
He'll shatter us, Crompton!" 

Crompton was unable to find 
an adequate answer. As their 
search had progressed, he had 
grown more and more horrified at 
the unfolding personality of Stack, 
and more and more obsessed with 
the need to find him. Loomis had 
never lived with the driving need 
for reintegration; he had come in 
because of external problems, not 
internal needs. But Crompton had 
been compelled by the passion for 
humanness, completion, rounded- 
ness. Without Stack, fusion was 
impossible. With him, there was 
a chance. 

"We're going on," Crompton 
said. 

"Alistair, please! You and I get 
along all right. We can do fine 
without Stack. Let's go back to 
Mars or Earth." 



JOIN NOW 



29 



Crompton shook his head. He 
had already felt the deep and ir- 
reconcilable rifts occurring be- 
tween him and Loomis. He could 
sense the time when those rifts 
would extend to all areas, and, 
without reintegration, they would 
have to go their separate ways — 
in one body. 

Which would be madness. 

"You won't go back?" Loomis 
persisted. 

"No." 

"Then I'm taking over!" 

Loomis' personality surged in 
a surprise attack and seized par- 
tial control of the body's motor 
functions. Crompton was stunned 
for a moment. Then, as he felt 
control slipping away from him, 
he grimly closed with Loomis, 
and the battle was begun. 

It was a silent war, fought by 
the light of a smoking kerosene 
lamp that grew gradually dimmer 
toward dawn. The battleground 
was the Crompton mind. The 
prize was the Crompton body, 
which lay shivering on a canvas 
cot, perspiration pouring from its 
forehead, eyes staring blankly at 
the light, a nerve in its forehead 
twitching steadily. 

Crompton was the dominant 
personality, but he was weakened 
by conflict and guilt, and ham- 
pered by his own scruples. Loomis, 
weaker but single-minded, certain 
of his course, totally committed to 
the struggle, managed to hold the 



vital motor functions and block 
the flow of antidols. 



T? OR hours, the two personal i- 
■*■ ties were locked in combat, 
while the feverish Crompton body 
moaned and writhed on the cot. 
At last, in the gray hours of the 
morning, Loomis began to gain 
ground. Crompton gathered him- 
self for a final effort, but couldn't 
bring himself to make it. The 
Crompton body was already dan- 
gerously overheated by the fight; 
a little more, and neither person- 
ality would have a corpus to in- 
habit. 

Loomis, with no scruples to hold 
him back, continued to press for- 
ward, seized vital synapses and 
took over all motor functions. 

By sunrise, he had won a total 
victory. 

Shakily, Loomis got to his feet. 
He touched the stubble on his 
chin, rubbed his numbed finger- 
tips, and looked around. It was 
his body now. For the first time 
since Mars, he was seeing and 
feeling directly, instead of having 
all sensory information filtered 
and relayed to him through the 
Crompton personality. It felt good 
to breathe the stagnant air, to feel 
cloth against his body, to be hun- 
gry, to be alive! He had emerged 
from a gray shadow world into 
a land of brilliant colors. Won- 
derful! He wanted to keep it just 
like this. 



30 



GALAXY 



• 



Poor Crompton . . . 

"Don't worry, old man," Loomis 
said. "You know, I'm doing this 
for your good also." 

There was no answer from 
Crompton. 

"We'll go back to Mars," Loomis 
informed him. "Back to Elderberg. 
Things will work out." 

Crompton did not, or could not, 
answer. Loomis became mildly 
alarmed. 

"Are you there, Crompton? Are 
you all right?" 

No answer. 

Loomis frowned, then hurried 
outside to the commander's tent. 



CCT'VE changed my mind about 
■*- finding Dan Stack," Loomis 

told the commander. "He really 

sounds too far gone." 

"I think you've made a wise de- 



m i 



the commander said. 



cision, 

"So I should like to return to 
Mars immediately." 

The commander nodded. "All 
spaceships leave from Port New 
Haarlem, where you came in." 

"How do I get back there?" 

"Well, that's a little difficult," 
the commander replied. "I sup- 
pose I could lend you a native 
guide. You'll have to trek back 
across the Thompson Mountains 
to Ou-Barkar. I suggest you take 
the Desset Valley route this time, 
since the Kmikti Horde is migrat- 
ing across the central rain-forest, 
.ind you can never tell about those 



devils. You'll reach Ou-Barkar in 
the rainy season, so the semis 
won't be going through to Depots- 
ville. You might be able to join 
the salt caravan traveling the short 
way through Knife Pass, if you 
get there^ in time. If you don't, 
the trail is relatively easy to fol- 
low by compass, if you compen- 
sate for the variation zones. 

"Once you've reached Depots- 
ville, the rains will be in full 
career. Quite a sight, too. Perhaps 
you can catch a heli to New St. 
Denis and another to East Marsh, 
but I doubt it because of the 
zicre. Winds like that can mess 
up aircraft rather badly. So per- 
haps you could take the paddle- 
boat to East Marsh, then a freight- 
er down the Inland Zee to Port 
New Haarlem. I believe there are 
several good hurricane ports along 
the southern shore, in case the 
weather grows extreme. I person- 
ally prefer to travel by land or 
air. The final decision of route, of 
course, rests with you." 

"Thank you," said Loomis 
faintly. 

"Let me know what you de- 
cide," the commander said. 

Loomis thanked him and re- 
turned to his tent in a state of 
nerves. He thought about the trip 
back across mountains and 
swamps, through primitive settle- 
ments, past migrating hordes. He 
visualized the complications added 
by the rains and the zicre. Never 



JOIN NOW 



31 



had his free-wheeling imagination 
performed any better than it did 
now, conjuring up the horrors of 
that trip back. 

It had been hard getting here; 
it would be much harder return- 
ing. And this time, his sensitive 
and pleasure-seeking soul would 
not be sheltered by the patient, 
long-suffering Crompton. He would 
have to bear the full sensory im- 
pact of wind, rain, hunger, thirst, 
exhaustion and fear. He would 
have to eat the coarse foods and 
drink the foul water. And he 
would have to perform the com- 
plicated routines of the trail, which 
Crompton had painfully learned 
and which he had ignored. 



HP HE total responsibility would 
-*- be his. He would have to 



' Nature, it had seemed to 
Loomis, sun-bathing on a placid 
Martian summer day or drowsily 
listening to the whistle of wind 
against his window on a stormy 
night, had — in the interest of art, 
to be sure — been exaggerated into 
a gigantic and wholly imaginary 
grinding machine. 

But now, shatteringly, he had to 
ride the wheels of the grindstone. 

Loomis thought about it and 
suddenly pictured his own end. 
He saw the time when his ener- 

i 

gies would be exhausted and he 
would be lying in some windswept 
pass or sitting with bowed head 
in the driving rain of the marsh- 
lands. He would try to go on, 
searching for the strength that is 

said to lie beyond exhaustion. And 
he would not find it. A sense of 



choose the route and make the utter futility would pass over him, 



critical decisions, for Crompton's 
life and for his own. 

But could he? He was a man 
of the cities, a creature of society. 
His problems had been the quirks 
and twists of people, not the moods 
and passions of nature. He had 
avoided the raw and lumpy world 
of sun and sky, living entirely in 
mankind's elaborate burrows and 
intricate anthills. Protected by 
sidewalks, doors, windows and ceil- 
ings, he had come to doubt the 
strength of nature about which the 
older authors wrote so engagingly, 
and which furnished such excellent 
conceits for poems and songs. 



alone and lost in the immensity 
of all outdoors. At that point, life 
would seem too much effort, too 
much strain. He, like many before 
him, would then admit defeat, 
;ive up, lie down, and wait for 
death ... 

Loomis whispered, "Crompton?" 

No answer. 

"Crompton! Can't you hear me? 
I'll put you back in command. 
Just get us out of this overgrown 
greenhouse. Get us back to Earth 
or Mars! Crompton, I don't want 
to die!" 

Still no answer. 

"All right, Crompton," Loomis 



32 



GALAXY 






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JOI N NOW 



33 



said in a husky whisper. "You 
win. Take over! Do anything you 
want. I surrender — it's all yours. 
Just please take over!" 

"Thank you," Crompton said 
icily, and took control of the 
Crompton body. 

In ten minutes, he was back in 
the commander's tent, saying that 
he had changed his mind again. 
The commander nodded wearily, 
deciding that he would never un- 
derstand people. 



SOON Crompton was seated in 
the center of a large dugout 
canoe, with trade goods piled 
around him. The paddlers set up 
a lusty chant and pushed onto 
the river. Crompton turned and 

watched until the Vigilantes' tents 
were lost around a bend. 

To Crompton, that trip down 
the Blood River was like a pas- 
sage to the beginning of time. The 
six natives dipped their paddles 
in silent unison and the canoe 
glided like a water-spider over the 
broad, slow-moving stream. Gigan- 
tic ferns hung over the river's 
bank, and quivered when the 
canoe came near, and stretched 
longingly toward them on long 
stalks. Then the paddlers would 
raise the warning shout and the 
canoe would be steered back to 
midstream, and the ferns would 
droop again in the noonday heat. 

They came to places where the 
trees had interlaced overhead, 



forming a dark, leafy tunnel. Then 
Crompton and the paddlers would 
crouch under the canvas of the 
tent, letting the boat drift through 
on the current, hearing the lethal 
splatter of corrosive sap dropping 
around them. They would emerge 
again to the glaring white sky, and 
the natives would man their 
paddles. 

"Ominous," Loomis said nerv- 
ously. 

"Yes, quite ominous," Crompton 
agreed, awed by his surroundings. 

The Blood River carried them 
deep into the interior of the con- 
tinent. At night, moored to a mid- 
stream boulder, they could hear the 
war-hums of hostile Ais. One day, 
two canoes of Ais pulled into the 
stream behind them. Crompton's 
men leaned into their paddles and 
the canoe sprinted forward. The 
hostiles clung doggedly to them, 
and Crompton took out a rifle 
and waited. But his paddlers, in- 
spired by fear, increased their lead, 
and soon the raiders were lost at 
a fork in the river. 

They breathed more easily after 
that. But at a narrow stretch they 
were greeted by a shower of ar- 
rows from both banks. One of the 
paddlers slumped across the gun- 
whale, pierced four times. The 
rest leaned to their paddles and 
soon were out of range. 

They dropped the dead Ais 
overboard, and the hungry crea- 
tures of the river squabbled over 



34 



GALAXY 



his disposition. After that, a great 
armored creature with crablike 
arms swam behind the canoe, his 
round head raised above the 
water, waiting doggedly for more 
food. Even rifle bullets wouldn't 



V 



drive him away, and his presence 
gave Crompton nightmares. 

r FHE creature received another 
•*- meal when two paddlers died 
of a grayish mold that crept up 
their paddles. The crablike crea- 
ture accepted them and waited 
for more. But this river god pro- 
tected his own — a raiding party 
of hostiles, seeing him, raised a 
great shout and fled back into the 
jungle. 

He clung behind the canoe for 
the final hundred miles of the 
journey. And, when they came at 
last to a moss-covered wharf on 
the bank, he stopped, watched dis- 
consolately for a while, then turned 

back upstream. 

The paddlers pulled to the 
ruined dock. Crompton climbed 
onto it and saw a piece of wood 
daubed with red paint. Turning it 
over he saw written on it, "Blood 
Delta. Population 92." 

Nothing but jungle lay beyond. 
They had reached Dan Stack's 
final retreat. 

A narrow, overgrown path led 
from the wharf to a clearing in the 
jungle. Within the clearing was 
what looked like a ghost town. 
Not a person walked on its single 



dusty street and no faces peered 
out of the low, unpainted build- 
ings. The little town baked si- 
lently under the white noonday 
glare, and Crompton could hear 
no sound but the scuffle of his own 
footsteps in the dirt. 

"I don't rlke this," Loomis said. 

Crompton walked slowly down 
the street. He passed a row of 
storage sheds with their owners' 
names crudely printed across the 
walls. He passed an empty saloon, 
its door hanging by one hinge, its 
mosquito-netting windows ripped. 
He went by three deserted stores 
and came to a fourth which had a 
sign saying, "Stack 85 Finch. Sup- 
plies." 

Crompton entered. Trade goods 
were in neat piles on the floor, and 
more goods hung from the ceiling 
rafters. There was no one inside. 

"Anyone here?" Crompton 
called. He got no answer. 

At the end of the town, he came 
to a sturdy, barnlike building. Sit- 
ting on a stool in front of it was a 
tanned and mustached man of per- 
haps fifty. He had a revolver thrust 
into his belt. His stool was tilted 
back against the wall and he ap- 
peared to be half asleep. 

"Dan Stack?" Crompton asked. 

"Inside," the man grunted. 

i^ROMPTON walked to the 
door. The mustached man 
stirred and the revolver was sud- 
denly in his hand. 



JOIN NOW 



35 



"Move back away from that 
door," he ordered. 

"Why? What's wrong?" 

I- 

"You mean you don't know?" 
asked the mustached man. 

"No! Who are you?" 

"I'm Ed Tyler, peace officer ap- 
pointed by the citizens of Blood 
Delta and confirmed in office by 
the commander of the Vigilantes. 
Stack's in jail. This here place is 
the jail, for the time being." 

"How long is he in for?" 

"Just a couple hours," said Tyler. 

"Can I speak to him?" 

"Nope." 

"Can I speak to him when he 
gets out?" 

"Sure," Tyler said, "but I doubt 
he'll answer you." 

"Why?" 

The peace officer grinned wryly. 
"Stack will just be in jail a couple 
hours on account of this afternoon 
we're taking him out of the jail 
and hanging him by the neck until 
he's dead. After we've performed 
that little chore, you're welcome to 
all the talking you want with him. 
But like I said, I doubt he'll answer 



i> 



you. 

Crompton was too tired to feel 
much shock. He asked, "What did 
Stack do?" 

"Murder." 

"A native?" 

"Hell, no," Tyler said in disgust. 
"Who gives a damn about natives? 
Stack killed a man name of Barton 
Finch. His own partner. Finch 



isn't dead yet, but he's going fast. 
Old Doc says he won't last out 
the day, and that makes it murder. 
Stack was tried by a jury of his 
peers and found guilty of killing 
Barton Finch, breaking Billy Red- 
burn's leg, busting two of Eli 
Talbot's ribs, wrecking Moriarty's 
saloon, and generally disturbing 
the peace. The judge — that's me 
— prescribed hanging by the neck 
as soon as possible. That means 
this afternoon, when the boys are 
back from working on the new 
dam." 

"When did the trial take place?" 
Crompton asked. 

"This morning." 

"And the murder?" 

"About three hours before the 
trial." 

"Quick work," Crompton said. 

"We don't waste no time here in 
Blood Delta," said Tyler proudly. 

"I guess you don't. You even 
hang a man before his victim's 
dead." 

"I told you Finch is going fast," 
Tyler said, his eyes narrowing. 
"Watch yourself, stranger. Don't 
go around maligning the justice of 
Blood Delta, or you'll find your- 
self in plenty trouble. We don't 
need no fancy lawyer's tricks to 
tell us right from wrong." 

T OOMIS whispered urgently to 
-*^ Crompton, "Leave it alone. 
Let's get out of here." 

Crompton ignored him. He said 



36 



GALAXY 



to the sheriff, "Mr. Tyler, I'd really 
appreciate seeing him. Just for five 
minutes. Just to give him a last 



» 



message. 

"Not a chance," the sheriff said. 

Crompton dug into his pocket 
and took out a grimy wad of bills. 
"Just two minutes." 

"Well. Maybe I could - damn!" 

Following Tyler's gaze, Cromp- 
ton saw a large group of men com- 
ing down the dusty street. 

"Here come the boys," Tyler 
said. "Not a chance now, even if I 
wanted to. I guess you can watch 
the hanging, though." 

Crompton moved back out of 
the way. There were at least fifty 
men in the group, and more com- 
ing. For the most part, they were 
lean, leathery, hard-bitten, no-non- 
sense types, and most of them 
carried sidearms. They conferred 
briefly with the sheriff. 

"Don't do anything stupid," 
Loomis warned. 

"There's nothing I can do," 
Crompton said. 

Sheriff Tyler opened the barn 
door. A group of men entered and 
came out dragging a man. Cromp- 
ton was unable to see what he 
looked like, for the crowd closed 
around him. 

I 

He followed as they hustled the 
man to the far edge of town, where 
a rope had been thrown across one 
limb of a sturdy tree. 

"Up with him!" the crowd 
shouted. 



"Boys!" came the muffled voice 
of Dan Stack. "Let me speak!" 

"To hell with that," a man 
yelled. "Up with him!" 

"My last words!" Stack shrieked. 

The sheriff called out, "Let him 
say his piece, boys. It's a dying 
man's right. Go ahead, Stack, but 
don't take too long about it." 

HP HEY had put Dan Stack on a 
■*- wagon, the noose around his 
neck, the free end held by a 
dozen hands. At last Crompton 
was able to see him. He stared, 
fascinated by this long-sought-for 
segment of himself. 

Dan Stack was a large, solidly 
built man. His thick, deeply lined 
features showed the marks of pas- 
sion and hatred, fear and sudden 
violence. He had wide, flaring 
nostrils, a thick-lipped mouth set 
with strong teeth, and narrow, 
treacherous eyes. Coarse black 
hair hung over his inflamed fore- 
head, and there was a dark stubble 
on his fiery cheeks. 

Stack was staring overhead at 
the glowing white sky. Slowly he 
lowered his head, and the bronze 
fixture on his right hand flashed 
red in the steady glare. 

"Boys," Stack said, "I've done a 
lot of bad things in my time." 

"You telling us?" someone 
shouted. 



UTf 



I've been a liar and a cheat. 
I've struck the girl I loved and 
struck her hard, wanting to hurt. 



JOIN NOW 



37 



I've stolen from my own dear 
parents. I've brought red murder 
to the unhappy natives of this 
planet. Boys, I've not lived a good 
life!" 

The crowd laughed at his maud- 
lin speech. 

"But I want you to know," Stack 
bellowed, "I want you to know that 
I've struggled with my sinful na- 
ture and tried to conquer it. I've 
wrestled with the old devil in my 
soul and fought him the best fight 
I knew how. I joined the Vigi- 
lantes and for a while I was as 
straight a man as you'll find. Then 
the madness came over me again 
and I killed." 

"You through now?" the sheriff 
asked. 

"But I want you all to under- 
stand one thing," Stack bawled, his 
eyeballs rolling in his red face. "I 
admit the bad things I've done. I 
admit them freely and fully. But, 
boys, / did not kill Barton Finch!" 

"All right," the sheriff said. "If 
you're through now, we'll get on 
with it." 

"Listen to me! Finch was my 
friend, my only friend on this 
world! I was trying to help him 
and I shook him a little to bring 
him to his senses. And when he 
didn't, I guess I lost my head and 
busted up Moriarty's Saloon and 
fractured a couple of the boys. But 
I swear I didn't harm Finch!" 

"Are you finished?" the sheriff 
patiently wanted to know. 




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38 



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:■;. $:/ 






«i 




JOIN NOW 



39 






Stack opened his mouth, closed 

it again, and nodded. 

"All right, boys," the sheriff said. 
"Let's go." 

ALTHOUGH the crowd roared 
agreement, no one stepped 
forward to move the wagon upon 
which Stack was standing. They 
were hard men, skilled in native 
warfare, always ready for a fight. 
But hanging a man in cold blood 
was something else again. 

"Well?" the sheriff asked. "How 
about it?" 

No one moved. 

"Okay," said Sheriff 
mournfully. "Guess I'll have to do 
it myself, though I wish — 

"Wait!" Crompton shouted. "I've 

got a score to settle with Stack! 
I'll do it myself!" 

No one stopped him as he 
jumped on the wagon. Standing 
close to Stack, concealing his move- 
ments from the crowd, Crompton 
pulled the projector out of its case. 
Stack knew at once who he was. 
Quickly they slapped on the elec- 
trodes. 



Tyler 



» 




" yelled a man in the 
crowd. "What's he doing?" 

And Loomis was speaking very 
quickly. "Watch out, take it easy, 
don't do it, don't believe him, re- 
member his history, he'll ruin us, 
smash us, he's powerful, he's homi- 
cidal, he's evil." 

But Stack was part of Cromp- 
ton, couldn't be completely evil. 



But had Stack told the*truth? 
Or had that impassioned speech 
been a last-minute bid to the au- 
dience in hope of a reprieve? 

Crompton had no time to think. 
Hastily he set up a similarity-pat- 
tern and shoved the switch. Then 
he yanked the projector free and 

stuffed it inside his shirt. 
• "Get him away from there!" the 

sheriff shouted. 

Crompton was yanked from the 
wagon and a dozen men gave it a 
push. The crowd roared as Stack's 
body plunged from the edge, con- 
torted horribly for a moment, then 
hung lifeless from the taut rope. 

■ 

And Crompton caved in under the 
impact of Stack's mind in his. 

CROMPTON awoke to find 
himself lying on a cot in a 
small, dimly lighted room. 

"You all right?" a voice asked. 

After a moment, Crompton rec- 
ognized Sheriff Tyler bending over 
him. 

"Yes, fine now," Crompton said 
automatically. 

"I guess a hanging's something 
of a shock to a civilized man like 
yourself. Think you'll be okay if 
I leave you alone?" 

"Certainly," Crompton answered 

dully. 

"Good. Got some work to do. 
I'll look in on you in a couple 

hours." 

Tyler left. Crompton tried to 
take stock of himself. 



V 



40 



GALAXY 



Integration ... 

Fusion ... 

Completion . . , 

Had he achieved it during the 
healing time of unconsciousness? 
Tentatively he searche s d his mind. 

He found Loomis wailing dis- 
consolately, terribly frightened, 
babbling about the Orange Desert, 
camping trips at All Diamond 
Mountain, the pleasures of women, 
luxury, sensation, beauty. 

And Stack was there, solid and 
immovable, unfused. 

Crompton spoke to him, mind 
to mind, and knew that Stack had 
been absolutely and completely 
sincere in his last speech. Stack 
honestly wished for reform, self- 
control, moderation. 

And Crompton also knew that 
Stack was completely and abso- 
lutely unable to reform, to exer- 
cise self-control, to practice moder- 
ation. 

Even now, in spite of his efforts, 
Stack was filled with a passionate 
desire for revenge. His mind rum- 
bled furiously, a deep counterpoint 
to Loomis' shrill babbling. Great 
dreams of revenge swam in his 
mind, gaudy plans to conquer all 
Venus. Do something about the 
damned natives, wipe them out, 
make room for Terrans. Rip that 
damned Tyler limb from limb. 
Machine-gun the whole town, pre- 

* 

tend the natives had done it. Build 

* 

up a body of dedicated men, a pri- 
vate army of worshipers of 



STACK, maintain it with iron dis- 
cipline, nd weakness, no hesita- 
tion. Cut down the Vigilantes and 

t 

no one would stand in the way of 
conquest, murder, revenge, fury, 
terror! 

Struck from both sides, Cromp- 
ton tried to maintain balance, to 
extend his control over libido and 
id. He fought to fuse the com- 
ponents into a single entity, a sta- 
ble whole. But the minds struck 
back, refusing to yield their au- 
tonomy. 

The lines of cleavage deepened, 
new and irreconcilable schisms ap- 
peared, and Crompton felt his own 
stability undermined and his sanity 
threatened. 



r|AN Stack, with his baffled 
-*-^ and unworkable reforming 
urge, had a moment of lucidity. 

"I'm sorry," he said. "Can't help. 
You need the other." 

"What other?" asked Crompton 
in bewilderment. 

"I tried to reform! But there 
was too much of me, too much 
conflict, hot and cold, on and off. 
Thought I could cure it myself. So 
I Split." 

"You what?" 

"Can't you hear me?" Stack 
moaned. "Me, I Split. When I went 
back to Port New Haarlem, I got 
another Durier chassis, stole a pro- 

» 

jector and Split. I thought every- 
thing would be easier. But I was 
wrong!" 



JOIN NOW 



41 



"There's another of us?" Cromp- 
ton cried. "That's why we can't 
reintegrate! Who is it? Where is 
he?" 

"We were like brothers, him and 
me! I thought I could learn from 
him, he was so quiet and good and 
patient and calm! I was learning! 
Then he started to give up." 

"Who was it?" Crompton pur- 
sued. 

"So I tried to help him, tried to 
shake him out of it. But he was 
failing fast; he just didn't care to 
live. My last chance was gone and 
I went a little crazy and shook 
him and broke up Moriarty's Sa- 
loon. But I didn't kill Barton 
Finch! He just didn't want to 
live!" 

"Finch is the last component?" 

"Yes! You must go to Finch 
before he lets himself die, and you 
must reintegrate him. He's in the 
little room in back of the store. 
You'll have to hurry . . ." 

Stack fell back into his dreams 
of red murder, while Loomis bab- 
bled about the blue Xanadu Cav- 
erns. 

Crompton lifted the Crompton 
body from the cot and dragged it 
to the door. Down the street, he 
could see Stack's store. Reach the 
store, he told himself, and stag- 
gered out into the street. 



H 



E walked a million miles. He 
crawled for a thousand years, 
up mountains, across rivers, past 



deserts, through swamps, down 
caverns that led to the center of 
the world and out again to im- 
measurable oceans, which he swam 
to their farthest shore. And at the 
long journey's end, he came to 
Stack's store. 

In the back room, lying on a 
couch with a blanket pulled up to 
his chin, was Finch, the last hope 
for reintegration. Looking at him, 
Crompton knew the final hope- 
lessness of his search. 

Finch lay very quietly, his eyes 
open and unfocused and unreach- 
able, staring at nothing. His face 
was the great, white, expressionless 
face of an idiot. Those placid 
Buddha features showed an in- 
human calm, expecting nothing 
and wanting nothing. 

Crompton crawled to the bed- 
side. With infinite weariness, he 
took the projector from his shirt 
and fastened the electrodes to 
Finch's head and to his own. He 
set the controls and threw the 
switch. 

Nothing happened. Finch was 
too far gone to respond. 

Crompton felt his tired, over- 
strained body slump by the idiot's 
bedside. 

Finch was bound to die; reinte- 
gration would never be achieved. 
There was nothing Crompton 

could do about it. 

Then Stack, with his despairing 
reformer's zeal, emerged from his 
dream of revenge. Together with 



42 



GALAXY 



Crompton, he willed the idiot to 

look and see. And Loomis searched 

for and found the strength* beyond 

exhaustion, and joined them in the 

effort. 

Three together, they stared at 

the idiot. And Finch, evoked by 
three-quarters of himself, parts 
calling irresistibly for the whole, 

made a rally. A brief expression 
flickered in his eyes. He recog- 
nized. 

Crompton closed the switch 
again. 

And Finch entered. 

Reintegration at last! But what 
was this? What was happening? 
What force was taking over now, 
driving everything remorselessly 
before it? 

i 

Crompton shrieked, tried to rip 

his throat open with his fingernails, 
nearly succeeded, and collapsed on 



the floor near the dead chassis of 
Finch. 



W/HEN the body opened its 
™ eyes again, it yawned and 
stretched copiously, enjoying the 
sensation of air and light and 
color, content with itself and think- 
ing that there was work for it to 
do, and love to be found, and a 
whole life to be lived. 

The body, former possession of 
Alistair Crompton, Edgar Loomis, 
Dan Stack and Barton Finch, 
stood up. The amalgam of sepa- 
rately evolved super-ego, libido and 
split id had, under extreme stress, 
produced a new ego — and there- 
fore a new man. 

He walked to the door, realizing 
that he would have to think up a 
new name for himself. 

— FINN O'DONNEVAN 



FORECAST 



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ary, remember, NOT January — is the first giant new 1 96-page Galaxy, the biggest, 
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For instance, Robert Sheckley's brilliant TIME KILLER concludes in that issue, in 
a flare of scintillating action. Far from clearing the slate, dying has only doubled 
Blaine's troubles — and now these people want him to die again to square himself! 

And a full-length novella, INSTALLMENT PLAN by Clifford D. Simak, with a 
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equipped than any to give them a merciless hiding! ' 

At least two novelets, one of which wilhbe INSIDEKICK by J. F. Bone; plus a 
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Look for the new great giant 196-page Galaxy on sale the 1st week in 
December! 



JOI N NOW 



43 



«t- 



■■ 



Oddest thing happened to me on 
my way through darkest Africa: 
I saw clearly beyond this . . . 



NIGHTMA 

WITH 






EPPEL1 




S 



By FREDERIK POHL 



and C. M. KORNBLUTH 



Illustrated by DICK FRANCIS 







little 



HE Zeppelin dirigible bal- 
loons bombed London 
again last night and I got 
sleep what with the fire 

brigades clanging down the street 

and the anti-aircraft guns banging 

away. Bad news in the morning 

post. A plain card from Emmie to 

let me know that Sam's gone, fast 

and without much pain. She didn't striding in, I doddering out. In that 



say, but I suppose it was the flu, 
which makes him at least the fifth 
of the old lib-lab boys taken off 
this winter. And why not? We're 
in our seventies and eighties. It's 
high time. 

Shaw said as much the other 
day when I met him on the steps 
of the Museum reading room, he 



44 



GALAXY 



I 

brutal, flippant way of his, he frozen trench and even more un- 



was rather funny about how old 
Harry Lewes was standing in the 
way of youngsters like himself, 
but I can't bring myself to put his 
remarks down; they would be a 
little too painful to contemplate. 

Well, he's quite recovered from 
that business with his foot that 
gave us all such a fright. Barring 
the 'flu, he may live to my age, 
and about 1939 bright youngsters 
now unborn will be watching him 
like hawks for the smallest sign 
of rigidity, of eccentricity, and say- 
ing complacently : "Grand old boy, 
G.B.S. Such a pity he's going the 
least bit soft upstairs." And I shall 
by then be watching from Olym- 
pus, and chuckling. 

Enough of him. He has the 
most extraordinary way of getting 
into everybody's conversation, 
though it is true that my own con- 
versation does wander, these bad 
days. I did not think that the 
second decade of the twentieth 
century would be like this, though, 
as I have excellent reason to be, I 
am glad it is not worse. 

AM really quite unhappy and 
uncomfortable as I sit here at 
the old desk. Though all the world 
knows I don't hold with personal 
service for the young and healthy, 
I am no longer a member of either 
of those classes. I do miss the min- 
istrations of Bagley, who at this 
moment is probably lying in a 




comfortable than I. I can't seem 
to build as warm a fire as he used 
to. The coals won't go right. Luck- 
ily, I know what to do when I am 
unhappy and uncomfortable: 
work. 

Anyway, Wells is back from 
France. He has been talking, he 
says, to some people at the Caven- 
dish Laboratory, wherever that is. 
He told me we must make a "ra- 
dium bomb." I wanted to ask: 
"Must we, Wells? Must we, real- 
ly?" 

He says the great virtue of a 
radium bomb is that it explodes 
and keeps on exploding— for hours, 
days, weeks. The italics are Wells's 
—one could hear them in his rather 
high-pitched voice — and he is wel- 
come' to them. 

I once saw an explosion which 
would have interested Wells and, 
although it did not keep on ex- 
ploding, it was as much of an 
explosion as I ever care to see. 

I thought of telling him so. But, 
if he believed me, there would be 
a hue and a cry — I wonder, was 
I ever once as consecrated as he? 
— and if he did not, he might all 
the same use it for the subject of 
one of his "scientific" romances. 
After I am gone, of course, but 
surely that event cannot be long 
delayed, and in any case that 
would spoil it. And I want the 
work. I do not think I have an- 
other book remaining — forty-one 



NIGHTMARE WITH ZEPPELINS 



45 



fat volumes will have to do — but but there were hundreds like her 



this can hardly be a book. 

A short essay; it must be short 
if it is not to become an autobio- 
graphy and, though I have resisted 
few temptations in my life, I mean 
to fight that one off to the end. 
That was another jeer of Shaw's. 
Well, he scored off me, for I con- 
fess that some such thought had 
stirred in my mind. 

■ 

ll/I* Y lifelong struggle with voice 
•^-" and pen against social in- 
justice had barely begun in 1864, 
and yet I had played a part in 
three major work stoppages, pub- 
lished perhaps a dozen pamphlets 
and was the editor and principal 
contributor of the still-remem- 
bered Labour's Voice. I write with 
what must look like immodesty 
only to explain how it was that I 
came to the attention of Miss 
Carlotta Cox. I was working with 
the furious energy of a very young 
man who has discovered his voca- 
tion, and no doubt Miss Cox mis- 
took my daemon — now long gone, 
alas! — for me. 

Miss Cox was a member of that 
considerable group of ruling-class 
Englishmen and women who de- 
vote time, thought and money to 
improving the lot of the working- 
man. Everybody knows of good 
Josiah Wedgewood, Mr. William 
Morris, Miss Nightingale; they 
were the great ones. Perhaps I 
alone today remember Miss Cox, 



and pray God there will always be. 

She was then a spinster in her 
sixties and had spent most of her 
life giving away her fortune. She 
had gone once in her youth to the 
cotton mills whence that fortune 
had come, and knew after her first 
horrified look what her course 
must be. She instructed her man 
of business to sell all her shares in 
that Inferno of sweated labour and 
for the next forty years, as she 
always put it, attempted to make 
restitution. 

She summoned me, in short, to 
her then-celebrated stationer's 
shop and, between waiting on pur- 
chasers of nibs and foolscap, told 
me her plan. I was to go to Africa. 

A CROSS the Atlantic, America 
-^"^-was at war within herself. The 
rebellious South was holding on, 
not with any hope of subduing the 
North, but in the expectation of 
support from England. 

England herself was divided. 
Though England had abolished 
slavery on her own soil almost a 
century earlier, still the detestable 
practise had its apologists, and 
there were those who held the 
rude blacks incapable of assuming 
the dignities of freedom. I was to 
seek out the Dahomeys and the 
Congolese on their own grounds 
and give the lie to those who 
thought them less than men. 

"Tell England," said Miss Cox, 



46 



GALAXY 



' 



'that the so-called primitive Ne- 
groes possessed great empires 
when our fathers lived in wattle 
huts. Tell England that the black 
lawgivers of Solomon's time are 
true representatives of their people, 
and that the monstrous caricature 
of the plantation black is a venal 
creation of an ignoble class!" 

She spoke like that, but she 
also handed me a cheque for two 
hundred and fifty pounds to defray 
my expenses of travel and to sub- 
sidize a wide distribution of the 
numbers of Labour's Voice which 
would contain my correspondence. 

Despite her sometimes grotesque 
manner, Miss Cox's project was 
not an unwise one. Whatever en- 
lightenment could be bought at a 
price of two hundred and fifty 
pounds was a blow at human sla- 
very. Nor, being barely twenty, 
was I much distressed by the 
thought of a voyage to strange 
lands. 

In no time at all, I had turned 
the direction of Labour's Voice 
over to my tested friends and con- 
tributors Mr. Samuel Blackett and 
Miss Emma Chatto (they married 
a month later) and in a week I 
was aboard a French "composite 
ship," iron of frame and wooden 
of skin, bound for a port on the 
Dark Continent, the home of mys- 
tery and enchantment. 

So we thought of it in those 
days and so, in almost as great 
degree, do we think of it today, 



though I venture to suppose that, 
once this great war is over, those 
same creations of Count Zeppelin 
which bombed me last night may 
dispel some of the mystery, exor- 
cise the enchantment and bring 
light into the darkness. May it be 
so, though I trust that whatever 
discoveries these aeronauts of to- 
morrow may bring will not repeat 
the discovery Herr Faesch made 
known to me in 1864. 



HP HE squalor of ocean travel in 
■■■ those days is no part of my 
story. It existed and I endured it 
for what seemed like an eternity, 
but at last I bade farewell to Le 
Flamant and all her roaches, rats 
and stench. Nor does it become 
this memoir to discuss the tragic 

failure of the mission Miss Cox 
had given me. 

(Those few who remember my 
Peoples of the Earth will perhaps 
also remember the account given 
in the chapter I entitled "Afric 
Journeyings." Those, still fewer, 
whose perception revealed to them 
an unaccountable gap between the 
putrid sore throat with which I 
was afflicted at the headwaters of 
the Congo and my leave taking 
on the Gold Coast will find here- 

l 

with the chronicle of the missing 
days ) . 

It is enough to say that I found 
no empires in 1864. If they had 
existed, and I believe they had, 
they were vanished with Sheba's 



NIGHTMARE WITH ZEPPELINS 



47 



Queen. I did, however, find Herr 
Faesch. Or he found me. 

How shall I describe Herr 
Faesch for you? I shan't, Shaw 
notwithstanding, permit myself so 
hackneyed a term as "hardy 
Swiss"; I am not so far removed 
from the youthful spring of cre- 
ation as that. Yet Swiss he was, 
and surely hardy as well, for he 
discovered me (or his natives did) 
a thousand miles from a commun- 
ity of Europeans, deserted by my 
own bearers, nearer to death than 
ever I have been since. He told 
me that I tried thrice to kill him, 
in my delirium; but he nursed me 
well and I lived. As you see. 

He was a scientific man, a stu- 
dent of Nature's ways, and a 
healer, though one cure was be- 
yond him. For, sick though I was, 
he was more ravaged by destruc- 
tive illness than I. I woke in a 
firelit hut with a rank poultice at 
my throat and a naked savage 
daubing at my brow, and I was 
terrified; no, not of the native, but 
of the awful cadaverous face, 
ghost-white, that frowned down at 
me from the shadows. 

That was my first sight of Herr 
Faesch. 

When, a day later, I came able 
to sit up and to talk, I found him 
a gentle and brave man, whose 
English was every bit as good as 
my own, whose knowledge sur- 
passed that of any human I met 
before or since. But the mark of 



death was on him. In that equa- 
torial jungle, his complexion was 
alabaster. Ruling the reckless 
black warriors who served him, his 
strength yet was less than a child's. 
In those steaming afternoons when 
I hardly dared stir from my cot 
for fear of stroke, he wore gloves 
and a woollen scarf at his neck. 

We had, in all, three days to- 
gether. As I regained my health, 
his health dwindled. 

He introduced himself to me as 
a native of Geneva, that colorful 
city on the finest lake of the Alps. 
He listened courteously while I 
told him of my own errand and 
did me, and the absent Miss Cox, 
the courtesy of admiring the spirit 
which prompted it — though he 
was not sanguine of my prospects 
of finding the empires. 

He said nothing of what had 
brought him to this remote wilder- 
ness, but I thought I knew. Surely 
gold. Perhaps diamonds or some 
other gem, but I thought not; gold 
was much more plausible. 

I had picked up enough of the 
native dialect to catch perhaps one 
word in twenty of what he said to 
his natives and they to him — 
enough, at any rate, to know that 
when he left me in their charge for 
some hours, that first day, he was 
going to a hole in the ground. It 
could only be a mine, and what, I 
asked myself, would a European 
trouble to mine in the heart of 
unexplored Africa but gold? 



48 



GALAXY 



I was wrong, of course. It was 
not gold at all. 

TWTELLS says that they are do- 
™ ing astonishing things at the 
Cavendish Laboratory, but I do 
think that Herr Faesch might 
have astonished even Wells. Cer- 
tainly he astonished me. On the 
second day of my convalescence, 
I found myself strong enough to 
be up and walking about. 

Say that I was prying. Perhaps 
I was. It was oppressively hot — 
I dared not venture outside — and 
yet I was too restless to lie abed 
waiting for Herr Faesch's return. 
I found myself examining the ob- 
jects on his camp table and there 
were, indeed, nuggets. But the nug- 
gets were not gold. They were a 
silvery metal, blackened and dis- 
colored, but surely without gold's 
yellow hue; they were rather 
small, like irregular lark's eggs, 
and yet they were queerly heavy. 
Perhaps there were a score of 
them, aggregating about a pound or 
two. 

I rattled them thoughtfully in 
my hand, and then observed that 
across the tent, in a laboratory jar 
with a glass stopper, there were 
perhaps a dozen more — yes, and 
in yet another place in that tent, 
in a pottery dish, another clutch 
of the things. I thought to bring 
them close together so that I might 
compare them. I fetched the jar 
and set it on the table; I went 



after the pellets in the pottery dish. 

Herr Faesch's voice, shaking 
with emotion, halted me. #Mr. 
Lewes!" he whispered harshly. 
"Stop, sir!" 

I turned, and there was the 
man, his eyes wide with horror, 
standing at the flap of the tent. I 
made my apologies, but he waved 
them aside. 

"No, no," he croaked, "I know 
you meant no harm. But I tell 
you, Mr. Lewes, you were very 
near to death a moment ago." 

I glanced at the pellets. "From 
these, Herr Faesch?" 

"Yes, Mr. Lewes. From those." 
He tottered into the tent and re- 
trieved the pottery dish from my 
hands. Back to its corner it went; 
then the jar, back across the tent 
again. "They must not come to- 
gether. No, sir," he said, nodding 
thoughtfully, though I had said 
nothing with which he might have 
been agreeing, "they must not 
come together." 

He sat down. "Mr Lewes," he 
whispered, "have you ever heard 
of uranium?" I had not. "Or of 
pitchblende? No? Well," he said 
earnestly, "I assure you that you 
will. These ingots, Mr. Lewes, are 
uranium, but not the standard me- 
tal of commerce. No, sir. They 
are a rare variant form, indistin- 
guishable by the most delicate of 
chemical tests from the ordinary 
metal, but possessed of charac- 
teristics which are — I shall merely 



NIGHTMARE WITH ZEPPELINS 



49 



^ 




s». 






lllipsp 







-Xv.'-:;.'/ :"' ■..; 

'.;::'" : :x. 



SB ■ 



wm$ 



"illlplM 



50 



GALAXY 



say 'wonderful,' Mr. Lewes, for I 
dare not use the term which comes 
first to mind." 

"Remarkable," said I, feeling 
that some such response was 
wanted. 



TTE agreed. "Remarkable indeed, 
•*■* my dear Mr. Lewes! You 

really cannot imagine how re- 
markable. Suppose I should tell 
you that the mere act of placing 
those few nuggets you discovered 
in close juxtaposition to each other 
would liberate an immense amount 
of energy. Suppose I should tell 
you that if a certain critical quan- 
tity of this metal should be joined 
together, an explosion would re- 
sult. Eh, Mr. Lewes? What of 
that?" 

I could only say again, "Re- 
markable, Herr Faesch." I knew 
nothing else to say. I was not yet 
one-and-twenty, I had had no in- 
terest in making chemists' stinks, 
and much of what he said was 
Greek to me — or was science to 
me, which was worse, for I should 
have understood the Greek toler- 
ably well. Also a certain apprehen- 
sion lingered in my mind. That 
terrible white face, those fired 
eyes, his agitated speech — I could 
not be blamed, I think. I believed 
he might be mad. And though I 
listened, I heard not, as he went 
on to tell me of what his discovery 
might mean. 

The next morning he thrust a 



sheaf of manuscript at me. "Read, 
Mr. Lewes!" he commanded me 
and went off to his mine; but 
something went wrong. I drowsed 
through a few pages and made 
nothing of them except that he 
thought in some way his nuggets 
had affected his health. There was 
a radiant glow in the mine, and 
the natives believed that glow 
meant sickness and in time death, 
and Herr Faesch had come to 
agree with the natives. A pity, I 
thought absently, turning in for a 

nap. 

A monstrous smashing sound 
awakened me. No one was about. 
I ran out, thrusting aside the tent 
flap and there, over a hill, through 
the interstices of the trees, I saw a 
huge and angry cloud. I don't 
know how to describe it; I have 
never since seen its like, and pray 
God the world never shall again 
until the end of time. 

Five miles away it must have 
been, but there was heat from it; 
the tent itself was charred. Tall it 
was — I don't know how tall, 
stretching straight and thin from 
the ground to a toadstool crown 
shot with lightnings. 

The natives came after a time, 
and though they were desperately 
afraid, I managed to get from 
them that it was Herr Faesch's 
mine that had blown up, along 
with Herr Faesch and a dozen of 
themselves. More than that, they 
would not say. 



NIGHTMARE WITH ZEPPELINS 



51 



And I never saw one of them 
again. In a few days, when I was 
strong enough, I made my way 
back to the river and there I was 
found and helped — I have never 
known by whom. Half dazed, my 
fever recurring, I remember only 
endless journeying, until I found 
myself near a port. 




war is over, a year or two perhaps. 
(And that will probably make it 
posthumous — if only to accom- 
modate Shaw — but no matter.) 

I have seen a great deal. I know 
what I know, and I feel what I 
feel; and I tell you, this marvelous 
decade that stretches ahead of us 
after this present war will open 
new windows on freedom for the 

ES, there was explosion enough human race. Can it be doubted? 



for any man. 

That whippersnapper Wells! 
Suppose, I put it to you, that some 
such "radium bomb" should be 
made. Conceive the captains of 
Kaiser Will's dirigible fleet pos- 
sessed of a few nuggets apiece 
such as those Herr Faesch owned 
half a century ago. Imagine them 
cruising above the city of London, 
sowing their dragon's-teeth pellets 
in certain predetermined places, 
until in time a sufficient accumu- 
lation was reached to set the 
whole thing off. Can you think 
what horror it might set free upon 
the world? 

And so I have never told this 
story, nor ever would if it were 
not for those same Zeppelin diri- 
gible balloons. Even now I think 
it best to withhold it until this 



Poor Bagley's letters from the 
trenches tell me that the very 
poilus and Tommies are deter- 
mined to build a new world on 
the ruins of the old. 

Well, perhaps Herr Faesch's 
nuggets will help them, these 
wiser, nobler children of the dawn 
who are to follow us. They will 
know what to make of them. One 
thing is sure: Count Zeppelin has 
made it impossible for Herr 
Faesch's metal ever to be used for 
war. Fighting on the ground itself 
was terrible enough; this new di- 
mension of warfare will end it. 
Imagine sending dirigibles across 
the skies to sow such horrors! 
Imagine what monstrous brains 
might plan such an assault! Mer- 
ciful heaven. They wouldn't dare. 

FREDERIK POHL AND 
C. M. KORNBLUTH 



* 



• 



• 



* 



* 



Look for the new great giant 196-page Galaxy 
on sale the 1st week in December! 



52 



GALAXY 



!:!».*.• ••.',%*-*«-.' * 




THE STRANGE PLANET 

NEXT DOOR 

■ 

HERE is a strange planet 

of which only a little is 

_ known so far. No explorer 

has yet succeeded in putting his 



S 9f J^SAl^^Hfi^ foot on its surface whiie stm aiive; 



, to 



IF 




>: 



■ •■ 



W 



i " 



Mh 



.W 



<• 



V 










1 



: ;-t 



? u 



|??_*»P" 



psws^jw's^ms^ «* 



much less has anybody been able 
to do so and return to report on 
his experiences. 

However, this world has been 
remotely explored by probes. Re- 
searchers have succeeded in cap- 
turing outlandish life-forms adapt- 
ed to the impossible environment. 



FOR YOUR INFORMATION 



53 



-S&s 




. m mil 










v- 



Vv 



nufifmawmw^ 



- s 












-v-.. *. 



Fig. 1: Rhizocrinus lofotensis, living crinoid 
discovered in 1850 at depth of 450 fathoms. 
Illustration copied from Pastor Sars's original 
report. The animal is about 4 inches tall 



Fig. 2: Polystomella strigillata, a foraminifer. 

Magnified 200 times 

The facts known about it so far 

are as follows: 

The pressure at the surface is 
several hundred times the pressure 
which humans consider normal; in 
some places, it goes up to a thou- 
sand times normal. The tempera- 
ture is to all intents and purposes 
the same, regardless of latitude, 
time of day or season. What vari- 
ations there are are minor, amount- 
ing to two or three degrees, with 
the average hovering some five 



«■ 



54 



GALAXY 



degrees above the freezing point of 
water. Likewise there are no 



was literally superficial. What hap- 
pened below about twenty fath- 



changes in illumination, regardless oms, the greatest depth to which 



of time of day or season. Surpris- 
ingly, the abundance of life-forms 
is simply fantastic, both in number 

of individuals and in the number of 
different life-forms. At unknown 
intervals — seasonally? — long- 
lasting and very dense mud winds 
are blowing, presumably changing 
local topography to a very large 

extent. 

This description of a strange 
planet could have been invented, 
it seems to me, by Stanley G. 
Weinbaum in the dim past of 
science fiction. And it does sound 
a bit like Dr. E. E. Smith's descrip- 
tion of the planet Trenco. Actu- tee nth-century geographer, 
ally it is a description of a real nard Varenius of Hanover, de- 
and otherwise rather well-known voted several pages of type to a 
planet, at least of about half of it. refutation of this belief. 
It is the planet next door to us - In this refutation, he unearthed 

the bottom of the ocean. an opinion from classical antiquity 

which stated that the world was 
CEANOGRAPHY is a rather symmetrical, which meant that the 



fishing nets were lowered, was of 
no interest to anybody. The cur- 
rents the sailors were interested in 
were surface currents. The swarm- 
ing of fish which interested the 
fisherman was surface swarming. 
People still speak of the abyss 
when they refer to the ocean be- 
yond the sight of land. The word 
itself means "bottomless" and is 
Low Latin of Greek derivation. 
No modern man would believe it 
to be strictly true, but for a long 
time sailors thought that the high 
seas were actually bottomless. We 
know this mostly because a seven- 





young science, not quite as 
young, of course, as nuclear phys- 
ics or space medicine, but young 
just the same. This may sound 
surprising in view of the fact that 
people have been sailing the seas 
for thousands of years, that tribes 
and nations made their living by 
catching fish and that for many 
centuries trade and sailing were 
virtually synonymous terms. Fact 
is, however, that until about a 
century ago the study of the seas 



greatest deeps of the ocean should 
be equal to the highest mountains 
on land. I may remark in passing 
that this old guess is very nearly 
correct. After Varenius, everybody 
was convinced that there had to 
be an ocean bottom somewhere. 

Beginning about a hundred and 
fifty years ago, some scientists 
went to work on a few prob- 
lems. One of the first was to meas- 
ure temperature. The results 
looked curiously alike. In the arc- 



FOR YOUR INFORMATION 



55 




ACTI NOA\A\A 

A5TEPACANTION 



BicryoPHl/AUS" 

CHAULtNGERI 



XIPHACANTHA 





DIPLOCONUS" 

FASCES 



y^y a S?HAEPA 
ACTI NOTA 



Fig. 3: Five radiolarians discovered by Ernst Haeckel. Drawn from Haeckel's original report 

by late Professor Gustav Wolf 



tic oceans, the surface water was 
near freezing and stayed that way 
as far as the thermometers of that 
time could go down. In the trop- 
ical seas, it was nice and warm for 
the first score of feet or so. Then 



i 

it got cooler, and as soon as the 
thermometer went below a hun- 
dred fathoms (600 feet to land- 
lubbers), there didn't seem to be 
much difference between arctic 
and tropical measurements. 



56 



GALAXY 



> 




Fig. 4: Willemoesia leptodacfyla, one of 
"extinct" eryonids discovered by Challenger 
expedition. Copied by Olga Ley from colored 

lithograph 

A Frenchman by the name of 
Peron drew what looked like a 
logical conclusion : if you went still 
deeper, the temperature would, at 
one still -to -be -determined level, 
drop to below freezing point. The 
bottoms of the oceans were, with- 
out any doubt whatsoever, cov- 
ered with ice. 



Naturally there would be no life 
on these ice-covered bottoms, part- 
ly because it was too cold, partly 
because there was nothing to eat. 
Logically, too, the ice was likely 
to begin at a shallower level in the 
Arctic, although this would still 
have to be determined. It was not 
really encouraging to this theory 
that Sir John Ross, one day in 
1818, accidentally caught a brittle 
star at a probable depth of 4900 
feet — in Baffin Bay in the arctic. 

The brittle star received the 
scientific name of Gorgonocepha- 
lus and was then quickly forgotten. 

* 

If somebody had brought the case 
up again, he probably would have 
been told that the fact that Sir 
John Ross had found a depth of 
4900 feet at that spot, coupled 
with the fact that the creature had 
become entangled in the line, still 
did not prove that it came from 
the bottom. It could have become 
entangled at any depth. 

■ 

URING the early part of the 
nineteenth century, an Eng- 
lishman, Edward Forbes, did very 
diligent work on life in the seas, 
at first in the North Sea and the 
English Channel, later in the Med- 
iterranean. He pointed out that 
marine plants needed sunlight, 
like any other plants. Up to a 
depth of about 45 fathoms, plant 
life was abundant, but then quick- 
ly became rare as the light began 
to fail. (Later researchers put the 




FOR YOUR INFORMATION 



57 



lower limit of active plant life at 
175 fathoms.) But where there 
was no plant life, there could be 
no animal life; below the level of 
1800 feet, or 300 fathoms, there 
had to be a zone that was not 
populated, could not be popu- 
lated. This was Edward Forbes' 
Abyssus Theory, advanced in 1843 
and based on his own very careful 
and very thorough researches in 
an "abysmal region" of the Medi- 
terranean Sea. 

Very few scientific theories had 
such a short and unhappy life as 
Forbes' Abyssus Theory. A Nor- 
wegian zoologist, Pastor Michael 
Sars, who as a young man and 
while candidatus theologiae had 
made important discoveries about 
the sex life and the metamorphosis 
of marine mollusks, started fishing 
near the Lofoten Islands in the 
summer of 1850, assisted by his 
15-year-old son Johan Ernst. Pas- 
tor Sars not only obtained living 
things from a depth of 450 fath- 
oms, he obtained living things that 
were supposed to be tropical. Or 
else extinct. They were a crinoid, 
Rhizocrinus lofotensis (Fig. 1), a 
representative of one of the four 
main groups of the echinoderms. 

Everybody knows some echino- 
derms, even if he has never heard 
the name. The common sea star is 
the typical representative of one 
of the main groups. The well- 
known sea urchin is a representa- 
tive of the second one, and the 



sea cucumber represents the third. 
The fourth group, the sea lilies or 
crinoids, were thought to be ex- 
tinct. 

But then, in 1755, a naturalist 
received something that had been 
dredged from the sea not far from 
Martinique. It was called Penta- 
crinus caput Medusae (if you in- 
sist on a translation, it would come 
out as "the Medusa-headed five- 
sectioned something"), but it took 
a quarter of a century until the 
anatomist Johann Friedrich Blu- 
menbach proved that it was an 
echinoderm. For many years, it 
was considered the only surviving 
species of the type. For many 
more years, it was considered in- 
credibly rare; as late as 1890, a 

naturalist had to part with eleven 
golden "sovereigns" for a speci- 
men. The history of Pentacrinus at 
least enabled Pastor Sars to tell 
at once what it was he had caught. 
Pastor Sars had started some- 
thing. A whole swarm of Scandi- 
navian marine biologists * with 
names like Loven, Asbjornsen, To- 
rell, Nordenskjold, Lindahl and 
Theel went after marine life along 
the shorelines of Norway, Sweden, 
Svalbard, and even Novaya Seml- 
ya, and were unanimous in report- 
ing that there was no lower, limit 
for marine life. The limit was the 
bottom, wherever it might be, and 
even that was not the whole truth, 
for there were forms in the bot- 
torn mud. 



58 



GALAXY 




T about the same time, Eng- 
lish and American scientists 
came across deep-sea life without, 
at first, meaning to. What they 
were actually doing was determin- 
ing the depth of the ocean bottom 
and its contours along a specific 
line for a specific reason. The first 
transatlantic cable was to be laid 
along that line. 

To measure the distance from 
the surface to the bottom, a new 
device was employed. It consisted 
of a heavy metal pipe, weighed 
down even more by a large iron 
cannon ball that had been pierced 
like a bead. When the pipe touched 
bottom, a powerful spring was re- 
leased which did two things: it 
scooped up a small amount of bot- 
tom mud, and it released the catch 
which had held the cannon ball 
in place so that it would slip off. 
Well, the bottom mud contained 
animal remains, regardless of place 
and depth. 

The first transatlantic cable was 
laid in 1858, but it worked for 
only three months. The next one, 
laid in 1865, broke when about 
two-thirds finished. The one of 
1866 was successful. Then the 
broken end of the 1865 cable was 
fished up and the laying com- 
pleted after repair. The important 
thing was that the broken end of 
the 1865 cable brought animal life 
with it to the surface. By one of 
these coincidences that happen 
more often than one should sup- 



pose, the cable across the Mediter- 
ranean (from Sardinia to Algiers) 
broke at about the same time. It 
was fished up too, and at a portion 
which had been at nearly 10,000 
feet for only three years, fifteen 
different kinds of animal life were^ 
found — right in the sea for which 
Forbes had originally evolved his 
Abyssus Theory. 

The man responsible, either 
directly or by his example, for 
everything that was to follow was 
Professor ( later Sir ) Wy ville Thom- 
son of Edinburgh. Pastor Michael 
Sars had not only proved that 
there was abundant animal life in 
the "abyss" of the northern seas, 
he had even found animals best 
known from the geological past. 
Wasn't it time for Her Majesty's 
Government to do something 
about it? The Royal Society, rep- 
resented by its vice president Pro- 
fessor Carpenter, chimed in and 
Her Majesty's Government finally 
put two small vessels of the Royal 
Navy, the Lightning and the Por- 
cupine, at Wyville Thomson's dis- 
posal. They investigated the sea 
bottom around England, off the 
Spanish coast and in the Mediter- 
ranean. 

It might be remarked here that 
the hopes of some of the scientists 
were off on a wrong track for a 
number of years to come, largely 
due to the accident that the first 
major discovery made by Pastor 
Sars had been a crinoid. Crinoids 



FOR YOUR I NFORMATION 



59 



were regarded as virtually a sig- 
nature of the geologic past (right 
now, a monograph on The Living 
Crinoids is being published; it has 
so many volumes that I have lost 
track) and it seemed quite pos- 
sible that "the abyssal life" was a 
"Lost World" — the bottom of the 
Atlantic might be the bottom of a 
Jurassic ocean. We now know that 
it isn't so, and it is still slightly 
surprising that it isn't, but that 
wrong hope was a strong spur. 




OLLOWING the success of 
the Porcupine and the Light- 
ning, Wyville Thomson asked for 
more help and got it. On Decem- 
ber 21, 1872, the corvette Chal- 
lenger left England for a trip 
which covered all the oceans ex- 
cept the Arctic Ocean. When the 
Challenger berthed in Portsmouth 
again on May 26, 1876, she had 
spent 719 days at sea, traveled a 
total of 68,890 nautical miles, 
measured the depth of the ocean, 
beyond those areas already on 
nautical charts, in 370 points, 
measured bottom temperatures in 
275 places, collected 600 crates of 
speciments (among them a bot- 
tom-mud sample from a depth of 
2 7,000 feet from the Pacific Ocean 
near the Philippines) and used up 
the original budget of 100,000 
pounds. Another 68,000 pounds 
had to be spent just for the pub- 
lication of the results. 

Like naturally begets like. If 



the Queen of England could send 
Sir Wyville Thomson and his as- 11 
sistant Sir John Murray to explore 
the bottom of the seas, the United 
States could do the same. Profes- 
sor Alexander Agassiz got the 
Blake to investigate, in successive 
trips, the Gulf of Mexico, the Ca- 
ribbean Sea and the Atlantic Coast 
of the United States. Later, the 
United States sent the Albatross 
into the Pacific. 

■ 

And if Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment could spend 100,000 pounds 
on such an idealistic cause, His 
Majesty's Government (that of 
the Kaiser of Germany, that is) 
could do the same. On July 31, 
1898, the steamer Valdivia left the 
harbor of Hamburg as the official 
German deep-sea expedition, com- 
manded by Captain Adalbert 
Krech, under the scientific leader- 
ship of Professor Carl Chun, and 
sent off in person by the then Sec- 
retary of the Interior Count von 
Posadowsky. The successor to Sir 
Wyville Thomson, Sir John Mur- 
ray, was on board for the first 
leg of the trip, from Germany to 
England. 

With that noted, let's go back 
to the Challenger expedition. 

Soon after the Challenger's re- 
turn to England, the scientific 
world began to scatter references 
to foraminifers and radiolarians in 
interviews and popular articles so 
that they very nearly became 
household worlds. I suspect that in 



60 



GALAXY 



many households, nobody had too 
clear an idea of just what forami- 
nifers and radiolarians really 
were, but the terms were popular. 
Both refer to single-celled animals 
much like the better-known ame- 
ba. But while the ameba is naked, 
the others grow armor. The shell 
of the foraminifers is calcareous 
(chalky) and most of the time re- 
sembles a tiny snail shell. 

Considering that they are single- 
celled, the foraminifers are quite 
large (Fig. 2). Single specimens of 
all of them are just visible to the 
naked eye if put on a contrasting 
background. One living form has 
a shell 1/2 Oth of an inch in di- 
ameter. A few fossil forms grew to 
a size of nearly an inch. 

The radiolarians are also single- 
celled and much smaller than the 
foraminifers, and their shells (also 
called "skeletons," which I find 
slightly misleading) are of silica. 
In shape, they do not follow a 
specific pattern, though lacy 
spheres of various types are fre- 



i 

bottom sediments for a few hun- 
dred miles out consist mostly of 
dry-land stuff, sand and clay and 
soil washed into the sea by the 
rivers. Then away from the land 
and farther down comes the gray 
bottom mud consisting of globi- 
gerina shells; we now know that 
30 per cent of the ocean floor 
(amounting to 40 million square 
miles) is covered with globigerina 
ooze. 

* 

In samples from more than 
12,000 feet in depth, the Chal- 
lenger scientists found that globi- 
gerina shells became rare and soon 
were lacking altogether. A theory 
for this was thought up at once. 

The Challenger experts assumed 

that the foraminifers did not live 
at the bottom but floated freely at 

shallow depths. This assumption 

was correct. When the individual 

i 

died, the shell sank to the bottom, 
but below the 12,000-foot level, 
the sea water, being under enor- 
mous pressure, contained enough 
carbon dioxide to dissolve the cal- 



quent, but they are all beautiful, careous shells. But this chemical 

action would not attack the silica 



HP HE reason why the Challenger 
-*- expedition popularized these 
names is that their many samples 
of deep-sea bottom mud fell into 
three general classifications, name- 
ly "globigerina ooze" (globigerina 
is the most common of the for- 
aminifers), "radiolarian ooze" and 
"red ooze." Each was typical for a 



shells of the radiolarians, so there 
you got radiolarian ooze. .(We 
know of three million square miles 
of radiolarian ooze in the Indian 
and Pacific Oceans.) And the ex- 
treme deep sea also yielded "red 
ooze" which, it could be deter- 
mined quickly, was mostly vol- 
canic dust, often containing tiny 



certain depth. Near the shores, the spheres, on the order of 1/1 00th 



FOR YOUR INFORMATION 



SI 



of an inch or less in diameter, 
micro-meteorites. 

Of all this, the radiolarians most 
strongly took the public fancy, no 
doubt because of the appearance 
of their skeletons. And it so hap- 
pened that these radiolarians had 
a special scientific history which 
not only made interesting reading 
but was full of the most famous 
names in contemporary science. 

During the whole interval from 
Forbes' Abyssus Theory to the 
Challenger expedition, there was 
one scientist who was the author- 
ity on microscopic animals. He 
was Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg 
in Berlin. He was born in 1795 
and died at the age of 81 in the 
year that the Challenger expedition 
returned home. 

Ehrenberg probed endlessly into 
stagnant water, into dust, mud and 
ground-up rock and the whole 
world helped him. An American 
sent him the first deep-sea mud 
samples ever taken. That Ameri- 
can was Matthew Fontaine Mau- 
ry, at one time Superintendent of 
the Naval Observatory and later 
called the Father of Oceanography. 
It was Maury who had helped in 
the survey prior to laying the first 
transatlantic cable. 

In Maury's samples, Ehrenberg 
discovered the radiolarians, though 
he did not give them that name. 
Then Ehrenberg received rock 
samples from the island of Barba- 
dos, packed masses of radiolarian 



skeletons. He concluded that the 
radiolarians probably lived at the 
bottom of the deep sea, and he 
never expected to see a live one. 
He didn't, but this was largely his 

fault. 



SCIENTISTS have often been 
~ accused of keeping their noses 
buried in books and journals and 
neglecting nature. Ehrenberg had 
the opposite fault: he kept his eye 
glued to his microscope and did not 
keep up with professional litera- 
ture. It must be admitted that it 
would have needed a kind of liter- 
ary detective at first.. 

An obscure ship's doctor on the 
run from England to Australia (on 
H.M.S. Rattlesnake) fished little 
lumps of a jellylike substance 
from the ocean in 1851. His micro- 
scope told him that these lumps 
were colonies of single-celled ani- 
mals, each one having a most beau- 
tiful skeleton. The ship's doctor 
was the later very famous Thomas 
Huxley, Darwin's friend. He also 
had failed to follow the literature 
(understandable for a ship's doctor 
of his time ) and did not know about 
Ehrenberg's finds in Maury's mud 
samples. 

The next famous name in the 
story was that of Professor Johan- 
nes Miiller. He had seen such tiny 
strands of jelly in 1849 but paid 
no attention until he read Huxley's 
report in 1855. Then, really going 
to work on them, he almost 



62 



GALAXY 



drowned off the coast of Norway had known 50 different species. In 



in pursuit of radiolarians. But he 
invented the name, and he influ- 
enced one of his pupils who had 
exceptional artistic talent to con- 
tinue these studies. The name of 
his pupil was Ernst Haeckel, who 
began his researches near Messina 
in 1859. In 1862, the first book 

devoted to the radiolarians was 

■ 

published, a folio volume of 572 
pages of print with 35 plates of 
copper engravings (Fig. 3). Other 
zoologists felt that Ernst Haeckel 
had exhausted the theme with this 
volume. This probably was more 
or less true at the moment. 

But then the Challenger expedi- 
tion came home. While still en 
route, the men of the Challenger 
had made microscope slides and de- 
cided that all mud containing more 
than 20 per cent radiolarian skele- 
tons should be labeled radiolarian 
ooze. Of course somebody had to 

- 

work this material. The aging and 
ailing Sir Wyville Thomson dis- 
cussed this with his friend Sir John 
Murray. Their opinion was unani- 
mous : Ernst Haeckel. Haeckel was 
invited to England; he accepted 
the offer, saying that it would take 
him three years, possibly as long as 
five years. It took ten. 

It also took three volumes, total- - 
ing 2750 pages with 140 plates, to 

describe just the radiolarians. 
(These three volumes were labeled 
"Part XVIII" of the Challenger Re- 



Haeckel's monograph of 1862, an- 
other 144 species were added. The 
Challenger discovered 3508 addi- 
tional new species. Haeckel later 
said that his enthusiasm never 
abated, but that it strained his ima- 
gination to invent 3500 new scien- 
tific names! 




UE to a number of circum- 
stances, not the least of which 
was the accidental cluttering of 
many famous names, mention of 
the Challenger expedition always 
made one think of radiolarians. Ac- 
tually they were just one of many 
interesting and important results. 

The Challenger expedition made 
many discoveries and, almost more 
important, confirmed many reason- 
able if still unproven theories. The 
crinoids, for one, were still a rather 
flourishing branch of the echino- 
derms, though the living forms are 
not very large and not conspicuous. 
The Challenger was the first to 
show that the bottom temperature 
was within a very few degrees the 
same everywhere. The idea of mud 
"storms" (later confirmed) was 
very, tentatively mentioned. A 
number of deep-sea animals of not 
quite credible shapes were taken 
for the first time. 

One of the early Scandinavian 

scientists who followed in the foot- 
steps of Pastor Sars compared gen- 
eral sea life to general land life by 



port. ) HaeckePs teacher Miiller saying that the worms did the same 



FOR YOUR INFORMATION 



63 



in both habitats, namely living on 
or in the ground. Otherwise the fish 
were for the seas what the mam- 
mals were for the land, while the 
roles of the insect life on land were 
filled in the seas by the crabs in 
their multitudes. 

The Challenger results could 
say "y e s" to this idea and add "any- 
where and at any depth." But this 
nice comparison omitted some- 
thing very typical for the sea. On 
land, the only thing that does not 
move around are the plants. The 
plants of the seas do not move 
either, but in the ocean there are 
very many animals which also 
don't move: oysters and all their 
relatives, sponges, corals, sea ane- 
mones and so forth. 



sively moving forms which drift 
with the currents. Most of the life- 
forms of the Plankton happen to be 
tiny, while those of the Nekton are 
usually large.* 

This division according to habits, 
if they may be called that, sounds 
at first hearing like the subdivisions 
of primitive zoology of the six- 
teenth century, where everything 
living was divided into "animals 
with feet," "animals with fins" and 
"animals with wings." But in the 
seas there is not just one but a 
variety of reasons for sorting first 
into habits, then into habitats and 
finally into a proper zoological 
classification. 

Well, what happened to the 

i 

charming idea that the abysmal 



Originally, the rather natural zone might harbor a "lost world"? 
tendency had been to sort ocean It happens not to be true. Of course 



life according to the depth where 
it lived; after the Challenger re- 
turned, another sorting method 
triumphed, the sorting into the 
three categories called Benthos, 
Nekton and Plankton. 

Benthos is everything that does 
not move (except in juvenile 
stages) and it includes the true 
plants (algae) as well as corals, 
barnacles, sea anemones, sponges, 
plus those which, while able to 
move, do not normally do so, like 
sea stars, sea urchins, many worms. 

The Nekton comprises every- 
thing that moves actively: almost 
all fishes, whales, the larger octopi. 
The Plankton comprises the pas- 



there are so-called living fossils in 
the ocean. One can make the sweep- 
ing and, to a layman, rather sur- 
prising statement that all the sharks 
could be considered as living fossils, 
since they are a very old group of 
the vertebrates. But most sharks 
are pelagic surface swimmers, 
though deep-sea forms are known. 
And one of the very oldest living 
fossils is Limulus, the horseshoe 
crab, a rather familiar creature to 



*The oft-used term "pelagic" just means 
"of the (open) sea" as distinct from 
"littoral," which means "near the shore," 
specifically the area uncovered at low 
tide. "Pelagic" then comprises both Nek- 
ton and Plankton, provided it is far from 
the shore. 



64 



GALAXY 



Americans along the Atlantic coast, 
but a much-admired survivor from 
the dim geologic past to people else- 
where. Far from being a deep-sea 
form, it is an animal of the littoral 

* 

zone. * 

Only one group of crabs, the so- 

* 

called eryonids, fits the idea of liv- 
ing fossils from the abyss. These 
eryonids were known fossils from 
Jurassic sediments — about 180 
million years old — and they were 
then definitely inhabitants of the 
littoral zone. Naturally they were 
believed to be extinct, until the 
Challenger expedition fished some 
from the deep sea off Africa. They 
do not differ much from their Juras- 
sic ancestors except that they have 
lost their eyes in the meantime. Of 
course we can't tell how the Juras- 
sic eryonids were colored; the liv- 
ing forms have bright red claws, 
feelers, legs and tail, while the body 
is the color of light pink chalk. 
Maybe Latimeria, the coelacanth 



fish from the area of the Comores 
Islands (see my article in Galaxy, 
May 1956), also fits the idea of a 
living fossil from the abyssal zone. 

We know that it is a living fossil 
of great age and an importance 
commensurate with this age. But 
we are not too certain yet whether 
it should be labeled a deep-sea fish. 

Within a single century, scientific 
opinion about the deep sea had to 
change fundamentally three times. 
At first, the bottom was thought to 
be ice-covered; that was disproved. 
Then it was "proved" to be lifeless; 
this was disproved even more 
thoroughly. Then it was thought to 
be a "lost world," but as it turned 
out, the seas harbor fewer living 
fossils than the land areas of our 
planet. 

But, though it is not a "lost 
world," it certainly is a very strange 
world, strange enough to qualify for 
a planet thousands of light-years 



away. 



WILLY LEY 



FOR 2500 YEARS 

Man has sought the state of "CLEAR" 

This state is now attainable for the first time in Man's History. 
The goal of all Mystic and Occult Science has been attained. 
It can be done for you. 



1812 19th Street, N.W. 



Write H A S I 



Washington 9, D.C. 



FOR YOUR INFORMATION 



65 





By JACK VANCE 




66 



GALAXY 



A big man in every way, Ullward just wasn't 
satisfied to be an island unto himself • . . if 
had to be either a whole planet or nothing! 

Illustrated by WOOD 





RUHAM Ullward had in- 
vited three friends to lunch 
at his ranch: Ted and 
Ravelin Seehoe, and their ado- 
lescent daughter Iugenae. After an 
eye-bulging feast, Ullward offered 
around a tray of the digestive pas- 
tilles which had won him his 
wealth. 

"A wonderful meal," said Ted 
Seehoe reverently. "Too much, 
really. I'll need one of these. The 
algae was absolutely marvelous." 

Ullward made a smiling easy 
gesture. "It's the genuine stuff." 

Ravelin Seehoe, a fresh-faced, 
rather positive young woman of 
eighty or ninety, reached for a 
pastille. "A shame there's not more 
of it. The synthetic we get is hard- 
ly recognizable as algae." 

"It's a problem," Ullward ad- 
mitted. "I clubbed up with some 
friends; we bought a little mat in 
the Ross Sea and grow all our 
own." 

"Think of that," exclaimed 
Ravelin. "Isn't it frightfully expen- 
sive?" 

Ullward pursed his lips whim- 
sically. "The good things in life 
come high. Luckily, I'm able to 
afford a bit extra." 

"What I keep telling Ted-" be- 
gan Ravelin, then stopped as Ted 



ULLWARD'S RETREAT 



67 



turned her a keen warning glance. 

Ullward bridged the rift. 
"Money isn't everything. I have a 
flat of algae, my ranch; you have 
your daughter — and I'm sure you 
wouldn't trade." 

Ravelin regarded Iugenae criti- 
cally. "I'm not so sure." 

rpED patted Iugenae's hand. 
■*■ "When do you have your own 
child, Lamster Ullward?" (Lam- 
ster: contraction of Landmaster— 
the polite form, of address in cur- 
rent use.) 

"Still some time yet. I'm thirty- 
seven billion down the list." 

"A pity," said Ravelin Seehoe 
brightly, "when you could give a 
child so many advantages." 

"Some day, some day, before 
I'm too old." 

"A shame," said Ravelin, "but 
it has to be. Another fifty billion 
people and we'd have no privacy 
whatever!" She looked admiring- 
ly around the room, which was 

- 

used for the sole purpose of pre- 
paring food and dining. 

Ullward put his hands on the 
arms of his chair, hitched forward 
a little. "Perhaps you'd like to 
look around the ranch?" He spoke 
in a casual voice, glancing from 
one to the other. 

Iugenae clapped her hands; 
Ravelin beamed. "If it wouldn't be 
too much trouble!" "Oh, we'd love 
to, Lamster Ullward!" cried 
Iugenae. 



nr>. 



I ve always wanted to see your 
ranch," said Ted. "I've heard so 

* 

much about it." 

"It's an opportunity for Iugenae 
I wouldn't want her to miss," said 
Ravelin. She shook her finger at 
Iugenae. "Remember, Miss Puss, 
notice everything very carefully 
— and don't touch!" 

"May I take pictures, Mother?" 

"You'll have to ask Lamster Ull- 
ward." 

"Of course, of course," said Ull- 
ward. "Why in the world not?" He 
rose to his feet — a man of more 
than middle stature, more than 
middle pudginess, with straight 
sandy hair, round blue eyes, a 
prominent beak of a nose. Almost 
three hundred years old, he 
guarded his health with great zeal, 
and looked little more than two 
hundred. 

He stepped to the door, checked 
the time, touched a dial on the 
wall. "Are you ready?" 

"Yes, we're quite ready," said 
Ravelin. 

Ullward snapped back the wall, 
to reveal a view over a sylvan 
glade. A fine oak tree shaded a 
pond growing with rushes. A path 
led through a field toward a 
wooded valley a mile in the dis- 
tance. 

"Magnificent," said Ted. "Simply 
magnificent!" 

They stepped outdoors into the 
sunlight. Iugenae flung her arms 
out, twirled, danced in a circle. 



68 



GALAXY 



"Look! I'm all alone! I'm out here clusters of white flowers. 



all by myself!" 

"Iugenae!" called Ravelin sharp- 
ly. "Be careful! Stay on the path! 
That's real grass and you mustn't 
damage it." * 

Iugenae ran ahead to the pond. 
"Mother!" she called back. "Look 
at these funny little jumpy things! 
And look at the flowers!" 

"The animals are frogs," said Ull- 
ward. "They have a very interest- 
ing life-history. You see the little 
fishlike things in the water?" 

"Aren't they funny! Mother, do 
come here!" 

"Those are called tadpoles and 
they will presently become frogs, 
indistinguishable from the ones 



you see 



» 




AVELIN and Ted advanced 
with more dignity, but were 
as interested as Iugenae in the 
frogs. 

"Smell the fresh air," Ted told 
Ravelin. "You'd think you were 
back in the early times." 

"It's absolutely exquisite," said 
Ravelin. She looked around her. 
"One has the feeling of being able 
to wander on and on and on." 

"Come around over here," called 
Ullward from beyond the pool. 
"This is the rock garden." 

In awe, the guests stared at the 
ledge of rock, stained with red 
and yellow lichen, tufted with 
green moss. Ferns grew from a 
crevice; there were several fragile 

ULLWARD'S RETREAT 



"Smell the flowers, if you wish," 
Ullward told Iugenae. "But please 
don't touch them; they stain rather 
easily." 

Iugenae sniffed. "Mmmm!" 

"Are they real?" asked Ted. 

"The moss, yes. That clump of 
ferns and these little succulents 
are real. The flowers were de- 
signed for me by a horticulturist 
and are exact replicas of certain 
ancient species. We've actually 
improved on the odor." 

"Wonderful, wonderful," said 
Ted. 

"Now come this way — ■ no, 
don't look back; I want you to 
get the total effect . . ." An expres- 
sion of vexation crossed his face. 

"What's the trouble?" asked 
Ted. 

"It's a damned nuisance," said 
Ullward. "Hear that sound?" 

Ted became aware of a faint 
rolling rumble, deep and almost 
unheard. "Yes. Sounds like some 
sort of factory." 

"It is. On the floor below. A 
rug-works. One of the looms 
creates this terrible row. I've com- 
plained, but they pay no atten- 
tion . . . Oh, well, ignore it. Now 
stand over here— and look around!" 

His friends gasped in rapture. 
The view from this angle was a 
rustic bungalow in an Alpine val- 
ley, the door being the opening 
into Ullward's dining room. 

"What an illusion of distance!" 



69 









«T>. 



exclaimed Ravelin. "A person 
would almost think he was alone." 

"A beautiful piece of work," 
said Ted. "I'd swear I was look- 
ing into ten miles — at least five 
miles — of distance." 

"I've got a lot of space here," 
said Ullward proudly. "Almost 
three-quarters of an acre. Would 

i 

you like to see it by moonlight?" 
"Oh, could we?" 

¥ 1 LLWARD went to a concealed 
^ switch-panel; the sun seemed 

* 

to race across the sky. A fervent 
glow of sunset lit the valley; the 
sky burned peacock blue, gold, 
green, then came twilight — and 
the rising full moon came up be- 
hind the hill. 

"This is absolutely marvelous," 
said Ravelin softly. "How can 
you bring yourself to leave it?" 

"It's hard," admitted Ullward. 
"But I've got to look after business 
too. More money, more space." 

He turned a knob; the moon 
floated across the sky, sank. Stars 
appeared, forming the age-old pat- 
terns. Ullward pointed out the con- 
stellations and the first-magnitude 
stars by name, using a pencil- 
torch for a pointer. Then the sky 
flushed with lavender and lemon 
yellow and the sun appeared once 
more. Unseen ducts sent a current 
of cool air through the glade. 

"Right now I'm negotiating for 
an area behind this wall here." He 

t 

tapped at the depicted mountain- "A genuine oak tree!" 



side, an illusion given reality and 
three-dimensionality by lamina- 
tions inside the pane. "It's quite a 
large area— over a hundred square 
feet. The owner wants a fortune, 
naturally." 

I'm surprised he wants to sell," 
said Ted. "A hundred square feet 
means real privacy." 

"There's been a death in 
the family," explained Ullward. , 
"The owner's four-great-grand- 
father passed on and the space is 
temporarily surplus." 

Ted nodded. "I hope you're able 
to get it." 

"I hope so too. I've got rather 
flamboyant ambitions— eventually 
I hope to own the entire quarter- 
block — but it takes time. People 
don't like to sell their space and 
everyone is anxious to buy." 

"Not we," said Ravelin cheer- 
fully. "We have our little home. 
We're snug and cozy and we're 
putting money aside for invest- 
ment." 

"Wise," agreed Ullward. "A 
great many people are space-poor. 
Then when a chance to make real 
money comes up, they're under- 
capitalized. Until I scored with the 
digestive pastilles, I lived in a 
single rented locker. I was cramped 
— but I don't regret it today." 

They returned through the 
glade toward Ullward's house, 
stopping at the oak tree. "This is 
my special pride," said Ullward. 



70 



GALAXY 



"Genuine?" asked Ted in aston- 
ishment. "I assumed it was simu- 
lation." 

"So many people do," said Ull- 
ward. "No, it's genuine." 

"Take a picture t>f the tree, 
Iugenae, please. But don't touch 

* 

it. You might damage the bark." 
"Perfectly all right to touch the 
bark," assured Ullward. 




E looked up into the branches, 
then scanned the ground. He 
stooped, picked up a fallen leaf. 
"This grew on the tree," he said. 
"Now, Iugenae, I want you to 
come with me." He went to the 
rock garden, pulled a simulated 
rock aside, to reveal a cabinet with 
washbasin. "Watch carefully." He 
showed her the leaf. "Notice? It's 
dry and brittle and brown." 

"Yes, Lamster Ullward." Iu- 
genae craned her neck. 

"First I dip it in this solution." 
He took a beaker full of dark 
liquid from a shelf. "So. That re- 
stores the green color. We wash 
off the excess, then dry it. Now 
we rub this next fluid carefully 
into the surface. Notice, it's flexible 
and strong now. One more solu- 
tion — a plastic coating — and 
there we are, a true oak leaf, per- 
fectly genuine. It's yours." 

"Oh, Lamster Ullward! Thank 
you ever so much!" She ran off to 
show her father and mother, who 
were standing by the pool, luxuri- 
ating in the feeling of space, watch- 



-■' 



ing the frogs. "See what Lamster 
Ullward gave me!" 

"You be very careful with it," 
said Ravelin. "When we get home, 
we'll find a nice little frame and 
you can hang it in your locker." 

The simulated sun hung in the 
western sky. Ullward led the group 
to a sundial. "An antique, count- 
less years old. Pure marble, carved 

i 

by hand. It works too — entirely 
functional. Notice. Three-fifteen 
by the shadow on the dial . . ." 
He peered at his beltwatch, 
squinted at the sun. "Excuse me 
one moment." He ran to the con- 
trol board, made an adjustment. 
The sun lurched ten degrees 
across the sky. Ullward returned, 
checked the sundial. "That's bet- 
ter. Notice. Three-fifty by the sun- 
dial, three-fifty by my watch. Isn't 
that something now?" 

i 

"It's wonderful," said Ravelin 
earnestly. 

"It's the loveliest thing I've ever 
seen," chirped Iugenae. 

Ravelin looked around the 
ranch, sighed wistfully. "We hate 
to leave, but I think we must be 
returning home." 

"It's been a wonderful day, Lam- 
ster Ullward," said Ted. "A won- 
derful lunch, and we enjoyed see- 
ing your ranch." 

"You'll have to come out again," 
invited Ullward. "I always enjoy 
company." 

He led them into the dining 
room, through the living room-bed- 



ULLWARD'S RETREAT 



71 



room to the door. The Seehoe fam- 
ily took a last look across the spa- 
cious interior, pulled on their 
mantles, stepped into their run- 
shoes, made their farewells. Ull- 
ward slid back the door. The See- 
hoes looked out, waited till a gap 
appeared in the traffic. They 
waved good-by, pulled the hoods 
over their heads, stepped out into 
the corridor. 



HP HE run-shoes spun them to- 
-*- ward their home, selecting the 
appropriate turnings, sliding au- 
tomatically into the correct lift- 
and drop-pits. Deflection fields 
twisted them through the throngs. 
Like the Seehoes, everyone wore 
mantle and hood of filmy reflec- 
tive stuff to safeguard privacy. 
The illusion-pane along the ceiling 
of the corridor presented a view 
of towers dwindling up into a 
cheerful blue sky, as if the pedes- 
trian were moving along one of 
the windy upper passages. 

The Seehoes approached their 
home. Two hundred yards away, 
they angled over to the wall. If 
the flow of traffic carried them 
past, they would be forced to circle 
the block and make another at- 
tempt to enter. Their door slid 
open as they spun near; they 
ducked into the opening, swinging 

around on a metal grab-bar. 

They removed their mantles 

and run-shoes, sliding skillfully 



into the bathroom and there was 
room for both Ted and Ravelin to 
sit down. The house was rather 
small for the three of them; they 
could well have used another 
twelve square feet, but rather than 
pay exorbitant rent, they preferred 
to save the money with an eye 
toward Iugenae's future. 

Ted sighed in satisfaction, 
stretching his legs luxuriously un- 
der Ravelin's chair. "Ullward's 
ranch notwithstanding, if s nice to 
be home." 

i 

Iugenae backed out of the bath- 
room. 

Ravelin looked up. "It's time 
for your pill, dear." 

Iugenae screwed up her face. 
"Oh, Mama! Why do I have to 
take pills? I feel perfectly well." 

"They're good for you, dear." 

Iugenae sullenly took a pill 
from the dispenser. "Runy says 
you make us take pills to keep us 
from growing up." 

Ted and Ravelin exchanged 
glances. 

"Just take your pill," said 
Ravelin, "and never mind what 
Runy says." 

"But how is it that I'm 38 and 
Ermara Burk's only 32 and she's 
got a figure and I'm like a slat?" 

"No arguments, dear. Take your 

pill." 

Ted jumped to his feet. "Here, 
• Babykin, sit down." 

Iugenae protested, but Ted held 



past each other. Iugenae pivoted up his hand. "I'll sit in the niche. 



72 



GALAXY 



I've got a few calls that I have to 
make." 

He sidled past Ravelin, seated 
himself in the niche in front 
of the communication screen. The 
illusion-pane behind him was cus- 
tom-built — Ravelin, in fact, had 
designed it herself. It simulated a 
merry little bandit's den, the walls 
draped in red and yellow silk, a 
bowl of fruit on the rustic table, a 
guitar on the bench, a copper tea- 
kettle simmering on the counter- 
top stove. The pane had been 
rather expensive, but when anyone 
communicated with the Seehoes, 
it was the first thing they saw, and 
here the house-proud Ravelin had 
refused to stint. 

Before Ted could make his call, 
the signal light flashed. He an- 
swered; the screen opened to dis- 
play his friend Loren Aigle, ap- 
parently sitting in an airy arched 
rotunda, against a background of 
fleecy clouds — an illusion which 
Ravelin had instantly recognized 
as an inexpensive stock effect. 

Loren and Elme, his wife, were 
anxious to hear of the Seehoes' 
visit to the Ullward ranch. Ted 
described the afternoon in detail. 
"Space, space and more space! Iso- 
lation pure and simple! Absolute 
privacy! You can hardly imagine 
it! A fortune in illusion-panes." 

"Nice," said Loren Aigle. "I'll 
tell you one you'll find hard to 
believe. Today I registered a 
whole planet to a man." Loren 



worked in the Certification Bureau 
of the Extraterrestrial Properties 
Agency. 

Ted was puzzled and uncom- 
prehending. "A whole planet? How 
so?" 

Loren explained. "He's a free- 
lance spaceman. Still a few left." 

"But what's he planning to do 
with an entire planet?" 

"Live there, he claims." 

"Alone?" 

Loren nodded. "I had quite a 
chat with him. Earth is all very 
well, he says, but he prefers the 
privacy of his own planet. Can 
you imagine that?" 

"Frankly, no! I can't imagine 
the fourth dimension either. What 
a marvel, though!" 

The conversation ended and 
the screen faded. Ted swung 
around to his wife. "Did you hear 
that?" 




AVELIN nodded; she had 
heard but not heeded. She 
was reading the menu supplied by 
the catering firm to which they 
subscribed. "We won't want any- 
thing heavy after that lunch. 
They've got simulated synthetic 
algae again." 

Ted grunted. "It's never as good 
as the genuine synthetic." 

"But it's cheaper and we've all 
had an enormous lunch." 

"Don't worry about me, Mom!" 
sang Iugenae. "I'm going out with 
Runy." 



ULLWARD'S RETREAT 



73 






"Oh, you are, are you? And 
where are you going, may I ask?" 

"A ride around the world. We're 
catching the seven o'clock shuttle, 
so I've got to hurry." 

"Come right home afterward," 
said Ravelin severely. "Don't go 
anywhere else." 

"For heaven's sake, Mother, 
you'd think I was going to elope 
or something." 

"Mind what I say, Miss Puss. 
I was a girl once myself. Have 
you taken your pill?" 

"Yes, I've taken my pill." 

Iugenae departed; Ted slipped 
back into the niche. "Who are you 
calling now?" asked Ravelin. 

"Lamster Ullward. I want to 
thank him for going to so much 
trouble for us." 

Ravelin agreed that an algae- 
and-magarine call was no more 
than polite. 

Ted called, expressed his 
thanks, then — almost as an after- 
thought — chanced to mention the 
man who owned a planet. 

"An entire planet?" inquired 
Ullward. "It must be inhabited." 

"No, I understand not, Lam- 
ster Ullward. Think of it! Think 
of the privacy!" 

"Privacy!" exclaimed Ullward 

i 

bluffly. "My dear fellow, what do 
you call this?" 

"Oh, naturally, Lamster Ull- 
ward — you have a real show- 
place." 

"The planet must be very primi- 



tive," Ullward reflected. "An en- 
gaging idea, of course — if you like 
that kind of thing. Who is this 
man?" 

"I don't know, Lamster Ullward. 
I could find out, if you like." 

■ 

"No, no, don't bother. I'm not 
particularly interested. Just an 
idle thought." Ullward laughed 
his hearty laugh. "Poor man. Prob- 
ably lives in a dome." 

"That's possible, of course, Lam- 
ster Ullward. Well, thanks again, 
and good night." 




HE spaceman's name was 
Kennes Mail. He was short 
and thin, tough as synthetic her- 
ring, brown as toasted yeast. He 
had a close-cropped pad of gray 
hair, a keen, if ingenuous, blue 
gaze. He showed a courteous in- 
terest in Ullward's ranch, but Ull- 
ward thought his recurrent use of 
the word "clever" rather tactless. 

As they returned to the house, 
Ullward paused to admire his oak 
tree. 

"It's absolutely genuine, Lamster 
Mail! A living tree, survival of 
past ages! Do you have trees as 
fine as that on your planet?" 

Kennes Mail smiled. "Lamster 
Ullward, that's just a shrub. Let's 
sit somewhere and I'll show you 

photographs." 

Ullward had already mentioned 
his interest in acquiring extrater- 
restrial property; Mail, admitting 
that he needed money, had given 



74 



GALAXY 



to understand that some sort of 
deal might be arranged. They sat 
at a table; Mail opened his case. 
Ullward switched on the wall- 
screen. 

"First I'll show you a map," 
said Mail. He selected a rod, 
dropped it into the table socket. 
On the wall appeared a world pro- 
jection: oceans, an enormous 
equatorial land-mass named Gaea; 
the smaller sub-continents Atalan- 
ta, Persephone, Alcyone. A box of 
descriptive information read: 

MAIL'S PLANET 

Claim registered and endorsed at 
Extraterrestrial Properties Agency 
Surface area: .87 Earth normal 

Gravity: .93 Earth normal 

Diurnal rotation: 22.15 Earth hours 
Annual revolution: 2.97 Earth years 
Atmosphere: Invigorating 

Climate: Salubrious 

Noxious conditions 

and influences: None 
Population : 1 

Mail pointed to a spot on the 
eastern shore of Gaea. "I live 
here. Just got a rough camp at 
present. I need money to do a bit 
better for myself. I'm willing to 
lease off one of the smaller con- 
tinents, or, if you prefer, a sec- 
tion of Gaea, say from Murky 
Mountains west to the ocean." 

Ullward, with a cheerful smile, 
shook his head. "No sections for 
me, Lamster Mail. I want to buy 
the world outright. You set your 
price; if it's within reason, I'll 
write a check." 



Mail glanced at him side wise. 

"You haven't even seen the pho- 
tographs." 

"True." In a businesslike voice, 
Ullward said, "By all means, the 
photographs." 

Mail touched the projection but- 
ton. Landscapes of an unfamiliar 
wild beauty appeared on the 
screen. There were mountain 
crags and roaring rivers, snow-pow- 
dered forests, ocean dawns and 
prairie sunsets, green hillsides, 
meadows spattered with blossoms, 
beaches white as milk. 

"Very pleasant," said Ullward. 
"Quite nice." He pulled out his 
checkbook. "What's your price?" 

Mail chuckled and shook his 
head. "I won't sell. I'm willing to 
lease off a section— providing my 
price is met and my rules are 
agreed to." 

TTLLWARD sat with com- 
pressed lips. He gave his head 
a quick little jerk. Mail started to 
rise to his feet. 

"No, no," said Ullward hastily. 
"I was merely thinking . . . Let's 
look at the map again." 

Mail returned the map to the 
screen. Ullward made careful in- 
spection of the various continents, 
inquired as to physiography, cli- 
mate, flora and fauna. 

Finally he made his decision. 
"I'll lease Gaea." 

"No, Lamster Ullward!" de- 
clared Mail. "I'm reserving this 



ULLWARD'S RETREAT 



75 




76 



GALAXY 



entire area — from Murky Moun- 
tains and the Calliope River east. 
This western section is open. It's 
maybe a little smaller than Ata- 
lanta or Persephone, but the cli- 
mate is warmer." 

"There aren't any mountains 
on the western section," Ullward 
protested. "Only these insignifi- 
cant Rock Castle Crags." 

"They're not so insignificant," 
said Mail. "You've also got the 
Purple Bird Hills, and down here 
in the south is Mount Cairasco — 
a live volcano. What more do you 
need?" 

Ullward glanced across his 
ranch. "I'm in the habit of think- 
ing big." 

"West Gaea is a pretty big 
chunk of property." 

"Very well," said Ullward. 
"What are your terms?" 

"So far as money goes, I'm not 
greedy," Mail said. "For a twenty- 
year lease: two hundred thousand 
a year, the first five years in ad- 



5> 



vance. 

Ullward made a startled pro- 
test. "Great guns, Lamster Mail! 
That's almost half my income!" 

Mail shrugged. "I'm not trying 
to get rich. I want to build a lodge 
for myself. It costs money. If 
you can't afford it, I'll have to 
speak to someone who can." 

Ullward said in a nettled voice, 
"I can afford it, certainly — but 
my entire ranch here cost less 
than a million." 



- 

"Well, either you want it p or 
you don't," said Mail. "I'll tell you 
my rules, then you can make up 
your mind." 

"What rules?" demanded Ull- 
ward, his face growing red. 

"They're simple and their only 
purpose is to maintain privacy 
for both of us. First, you have to 
stay on your own property. No 
excursions hither and yon on my 
property. Second, no sub-leasing. 
Third, no residents except your- 
self, your family and your serv- 
ants. I don't want any artists' col- 
ony springing up, nor any wild 
noisy resort atmosphere. Natural- 
ly you're entitled to bring out 
your guests, but they've got to 
keep to your property just like 
yourself." 

He looked sidewise at Ullward's 
glum face. "I'm not trying to be 
tough, Lamster Ullward. Good 
fences make good neighbors, and 
it's better that we have the under- 
standing now than hard words and 
beamgun evictions later." 

"Let me see the photographs 
again," said Ullward. "Show me 
West Gaea." 

He looked, heaved a deep sigh. 
"Very well. I agree." 

r | 1 HE construction crew had de- 
■*- parted. Ullward was alone on 
West Gaea. He walked around the 
new lodge, taking deep breaths of. 
pure quiet air, thrilling to the abso- 
lute solitude and privacy. The 



ULLWARD'S RETREAT 



77 






lodge had cost a fortune, but how 
many other people of Earth 
owned — leased, rather — anything 
to compare with this? 

He walked out on the front ter- 
race, gazed proudly across miles— 
— genuine unsimulated miles — 
of landscape. For his home site, he 
had selected a shelf in the foot- 
hills of the Ullward Range (as he 
had renamed the Purple Bird 
Hills). In front spread a great 
golden savannah dotted with blue- 
green trees; behind rose a tall gray 
cliff. 

A stream rushed down a cleft 
in the rock, leaping, splashing, 
cooling the air, finally flowing into 
a beautiful clear pool, beside which 
Ullward had erected a cabana of 
red, green and brown plastic. At 
the base of the cliff and in crevices 
grew clumps of spiky blue cactus, 
lush green bushes covered with red 
trumpet-flowers, a thick-leafed 
white plant holding up a stalk 
clustered with white bubbles. 



SOLITUDE! The real thing! No 
thumping of factories, no roar 
of traffic two feet from one's bed. 
On 2 arm outstretched, the other 
pressed to his chest, Ullward per- 
formed a stately little jig of tri- 
umph on the terrace. Had he been 
able, he might have turned a cart- 
wheel. When a person has com- 
plete privacy, absolutely nothing is 
forbidden! 

Ullward took a final turn up 



and down the terrace, made a last 
appreciative survey of the horizon. 
The sun was sinking through banks 
of fire-fringed clouds. Marvelous 
depth of color, a tonal brilliance 
to be matched only in the very 
best illusion-panes! 

He entered the lodge, made a 
selection from the nutrition locker. 
After a leisurely meal, he returned 
to the lounge. He stood thinking 
for a moment, then went out upon 
the terrace, strolled up and down. 
Wonderful! The night was full of 
stars, hanging like blurred white 
lamps, almost as he had always 
imagined them. 

After ten minutes of admiring 

the stars, he returned into the 
lodge. Now what? The wall-screen, 

with its assortment of recorded 
programs. Snug and comfortable, 
Ullward watched the performance 
of a recent musical comedy. 

Real luxury, he told himself. 
Pity he couldn't invite his friends 
out to spend the evening. Unfor- 
tunately impossible, considering 
the inconvenient duration of the 
trip between Mail's Planet and 
Earth. However — only three days 
until the arrival of his first guest. 
She was Elf Intry, a young woman 
who had been more than friendly 
with Ullward on Earth. When 
Elf arrived, Ullward would broach 
a subject which he had been mull- 
ing over for several months — in- 
deed, .ever since he had first 
learned of Mail's Planet. 



78 



GALAXY 




LF Intry arrived early in the 
afternoon, coming down to 
Mail's Planet in a capsule dis- 

■ 

charged from the weekly Outer 
Ring Express packet. A woman 
of normally good disposition, she 
greeted Ullward in a seethe of in- 
dignation. "Just who is that brute 
around the other side of the 
planet? I thought you had abso- 
lute privacy here!" 

"That's just old Mail," said Ull- 
ward evasively. "What's wrong?" 

"The fool on the packet set me 
the wrong coordinates and the 
capsule came down on a beach. I 
noticed a house and then I saw a 

■ 

naked man jumping rope behind 
some bushes. I thought it was you, 
of course. I went over and said 
'Boo!' You should have heard the 
language he used!" She shook her 
head. "I don't see why you allow 
such a boor on your planet." 

The buzzer on the communi- 
cation screen sounded. "That's 
Mail now," said Ullward. "You 
wait here. I'll tell him how to 
speak to my guests!" 

He presently returned to the ter- 
race. Elf came over to him, kissed 
his nose. "Ully, you're pale with 
rage! I hope you didn't lose your 
temper." 

"No," said Ullward. "We mere- 
ly — well, we had an understand- 



the waterfall, the mass of rock 
above. "You won't see that effect 
on any illusion-pane! That's genu- 
ine rock!" 

"Lovely, Ully. Very nice. The 
color might be just a trifle darker, 
though. Rock doesn't look like 
that." 

"No?" Ullward inspected the 
cliff more critically. "Well, I can't 
do anything about it. How about 
the privacy?" 

"Wonderful! It's so quiet, it's 
almost eerie!" 

"Eerie?" Ullward looked around 
the landscape. "It hadn't occurred 
to me." 

"You're not sensitive to these 
things, Ully. Still, if s very nice, if 
you can tolerate that unpleasant 
creature Mail so close." 

"Close?" protested Ullward. 
"He's on the other side of the con- 
tinent!" 

"True," said Elf. "Ifs all rela- 
tive, I suppose. How long do you 
expect to stay out here?" 

"That depends. Come along in- 
side. I want to talk with you." 

He seated her in a comfortable 
chair, brought her a globe of 
Gluco-Fructoid Nectar. For him- 
self, he mixed ethyl alcohol, water, 
a few drops of Haig's Oldtime 
Esters. 

"Elf, where do you stand in the 



ing. Come along, look over the reproduction list?" 



property." 

He took Elf around to the back, 



She raised her fine eyebrows, 
shook her head. "So far down, I've 



pointing out the swimming pool, lost count. Fifty or sixty billion." 



ULLWARD'S RETREAT 



79 



"I'm down thirty-seven billion. 
It's one reason I bought this place. 
Waiting list, piffle! Nobody stops 
Bruham Ullward's breeding on his 
own planet!" 

Elf pursed her lips, shook her 
head sadly. "It won't work, Ully." 

"And why not?" 

"You can't take the children 
back to Earth. The list would keep 
them out." 

"True, but think of living here, 
surrounded by children. All the 
children you wanted! And utter 
privacy to boot! What more could 
you ask for?" 

Elf sighed. "You fabricate a 

beautiful illusion-pane, Ully. But 

I think not. I love the privacy and 

solitude — but I thought there'd 

be more people to be private 
from." 



HPHE Outer Ring Express packet 

*- came past four days later. Elf 
kissed Ullward good-by. "It's 
simply exquisite here, Ully. The 
solitude is so magnificent, it gives 
me gooseflesh. I've had a won- 
derful visit." She climbed into the 
capsule. "See you on Earth." 

"Just a minute," said Ullward 
suddenly. "I want you to post a 
letter or two for me." 

"Hurry. I've only got twenty 
minutes." 

Ullward was back in ten min- 
utes. "Invitations," he told her 
breathlessly. "Friends." 

"Right." She kissed his nose. 



"Good-by, Ully." She slammed the 
port; the capsule rushed away, 
whirling up to meet the packet. 

The new guests arrived three 
weeks later: Frobisher Worbeck, 
Liornetta Stobart, Harris and 
Hyla Cabe, Ted and Ravelin and 
Iugenae Seehoe, Juvenal Aquister 
and his son Runy. 

Ullward, brown from long days 
of lazing in the sun, greeted them 
with great enthusiasm. "Welcome 
to my little retreat! Wonderful to 
see you all! Frobisher, you pink- 
cheeked rascal! And Iugenae! 
Prettier than ever! Be careful, 
Ravelin — I've got my eye on your 
daughter! But Runy's here, guess 
I'm out of the picture! Liornetta, 
damned glad you could make it! 

And Ted! Great to see you, old 

chap! This is all your doing, you 
know! Harris, Hyla, Juvenal — 
come on up! We'll have a drink, 
a drink, a drink!" 

Running from one to the other, 
patting arms, herding the slow- 
moving Frobisher Worbeck, he 
conducted his guests up the slope 
to the terrace. Here they turned 
to survey the panorama. Ullward 
listened to their remarks, mouth 
pursed against a grin of gratifi- 
cation. 

"Magnificent!" 

"Grand!" 

"Absolutely genuine!" 

"The sky is so far away, it 
frightens me!" 

"The sunlight's so pure!" 



80 



GALAXY 



* 

"The genuine thing's always 

best, isn't it?" 

Runy said a trifle wistfully, "I 
thought you were on a beach, 
Lamster Ullward." 

"Beach? This is mountain coun- 
try, Runy. Land of the wide open 
spaces! Look out over that plain!" 

Liornetta Stobart patted Runy's 
shoulder. "Not every planet has 
beaches, Runy. The secret of hap- 
piness is to be content with what 
one has." 



ULLWARD laughed gayly. "Oh, 
I've got beaches, never fear 
for that! There's a fine beach — 
ha, ha — five hundred miles due 
west. Every step Ullward domain!" 

"Can we go?" asked Iugenae 
excitedly. "Can we go, Lamster 
Ullward?" 

"We certainly can! That shed 
down the slope is headquarters for 
the Ullward Airlines. We'll fly to 
the beach, swim in Ullward 
Ocean! But now refreshment! 
After that crowded capsule, your 
throats must be like paper!" 

"It wasn't too crowded," said 

* 

Ravelin Seehoe. "There were only 
nine of us." She looked critically 
up at the cliff. "If that were an il- 
lusion-pane, I'd consider it gro- 
tesque." 

"My dear Ravelin!" cried Ull- 
ward. "It's impressive! Magnifi- 
cent!" 

"All of that," agreed Frobisher 
Worbeck, a tall sturdy man, white- 



haired, red-jowled, with a blue 
benevolent gaze. "And now, Bru- 
ham, what about those drinks?" 

"Of course! Ted, I know you 
of old. Will you tend bar? Here's 
the alcohol, here's water, here are 
the esters. Now, you two," Ull- 
ward called to Runy and Iugenae. 
"How about some nice cold soda 

pop?" 

"What kind is there?" asked 

Runy. 

"All kinds, all flavors. This is 
Ullward's Retreat! We've got 
methylamyl glutamine, cyclopro- 
dacterol phosphate, metathiobro- 
mine-4-glycocitrose ..." 

Runy and Iugenae expressed 
their preferences; Ullward brought 
the globes, then hurried to ar- 
range tables and chairs for the 
adults. Presently everyone was 
comfortable and relaxed. 

Iugenae whispered to Ravelin, 
who smiled and nodded indulgent- 
ly. "Lamster Ullward, you remem- 
ber the beautiful oak leaf you 
gave Iugenae?" 

"Of course I do." 

"It's still as fresh and green as 
ever. I wonder if Iugenae might 
have a leaf or two from some of 
these other trees?" 

"My dear Ravelin!" Ullward 
roared with laughter. "She can 
have an entire tree!" 

"Oh, Mother! Can-" 

"Iugenae, don't be ridiculous!" 
snapped Ted. "How could we get 
it home? Where would we plant 



ULLWARD'S RETREAT 



81 



the thing? In the bathroom?" miles. More than enough for swim- 
Ravelin said, "You and Runy 
find some nice leaves, but don't 
wander too far." 



"No, Mother." She beckoned to 
Runy. "Come along, dope. Bring 
a basket" 



HP HE others of the party gazed 
-*- out over the plain. "A beautiful 
view, Ullward," said Frobisher 
Worbeck. "How far does your 
property extend?" 

"Five hundred miles west to the 
ocean, six hundred miles east to 
the mountains, eleven hundred 
miles north and two hundred miles 
south." 

Worbeck shook his head sol- 
emnly. "Nice. A pity you couldn't 
get the whole planet. Then you'd 

have real privacy!" 

"I tried, of course," said Ull- 
ward. "The owner refused to con- 
sider the idea." 

"A pity." 

Ullward brought out a map. 
"However, as you see, I have a 
fine volcano, a number of excellent 
rivers, a mountain range, and 
down here on the delta of Cinna- 
mon River an absolutely miasmic 
swamp." 

Ravelin pointed to the ocean. 
"Why, it's Lonesome Ocean! I 
thought the name was Ullward 
Ocean." 

Ullward laughed uncomfortably. 
"Just a figure of speech — so to 
speak. My rights extend ten 



mmg purposes. 

"No freedom of the seas here, 
eh, Lamster Ullward?" laughed 
Harris Cabe. 

■ 

"Not exactly," confessed Ull- 
ward. 

"A pity," said Frobisher Wor- 
beck. 

Hyla Cabe pointed to the map. 
"Look at these wonderful moun- 
tain ranges! The Magnificent 
Mountains! And over here — the 
Elysian Gardens! I'd love to see 
them, Lamster Ullward." 

Ullward shook his head in em- 
barrassment. "Impossible, I'm 
afraid. They're not on my prop- 
erty. I haven't even seen them 
myself." 

His guests stared at him in 
astonishment. "But surely- 

"It's an atom-welded contract 
with Lamster Mail," Ullward ex- 
plained. "He stays on his prop- 
erty, I stay on mine. In this way, 
our privacy is secure." 

"Look," Hyla Cabe said aside 
to Ravelin. "The Unimaginable 
Caverns! Doesn't it make you 
simply wild not to be able to see 
them?" 

Aquister said hurriedly, "It's a 
pleasure to sit here and just 
breathe this wonderful fresh air. 
No noise, no crowds, no bustle or 
hurry ..." 

The party drank and chatted 
and basked in the sunshine until 
late afternoon. Enlisting the aid 



» 



82 



GALAXY 



of Ravelin Seehoe and Hyla Cabe, 
Ullward set out a simple meal of 
yeast pellets, processed protein, 
thick slices of algae crunch. 

"No animal flesh, cooked vege- 
tation?" questioned Worbeck curi- 
ously, 

"Tried them the first day," said 
Ullward. "Revolting. Sick for a 
week." 

, After dinner, the guests watched 
a comic melodrama on the wall- 
screen. Then Ullward showed 
them to their various cubicles, and 
after a few minutes of badinage 

and calling back and forth, the 
lodge became quiet. 

TVTEXT day, Ullward ordered his 
■*■ ^ guests into their bathing suits. 
"We're off to the beach, we'll gam- 
bol on the sand, we'll frolic in the 
surf of Lonesome Ullward Ocean!" 

The guests piled happily into 
the air-car. Ullward counted heads. 
"All aboard! We're off!" 

They rose and flew west, first 
low over the plain, then high into 
the air, to obtain a panoramic view 
of the Rock Castle Crags. 

"The tallest peak — there to the 
north — is almost ten thousand 
feet high. Notice how it juts up, 
just imagine the mass! Solid rock! 
How'd you like that dropped on 
your toe, Runy? Not so good, eh? 
In a moment, we'll see a precipice 
over a thousand feet straight up 
and down. There — now! Isn't that 
remarkable?" 



a, 



Certainly impressive," agreed 
Ted. 

"What those Magnificent Moun- 
tains must be like!" said Harris 
Cabe with a wry laugh. 

"How tall are they, Lamster Ull- 
ward?" inquired Liornetta Stobart. 

"What? Which?" 

| 

"The Magnificent Mountains." 

"I don't know for sure. Thirty 
or forty thousand feet, I suppose." 

"What a marvelous sight they 
must be!" said Frobisher Worbeck. 
"Probably make these look like 
foothills." 

"These are beautiful too," Hyla 
Cabe put in hastily. 

"Oh, naturally," said Frobisher 
Worbeck. "A damned fine sight! 
You're a lucky man, Bruham!" 

Ullward laughed shortly, turned 
the air-car west. They flew across 
a rolling forested plain and pres- 
ently Lonesome Ocean gleamed in 
the distance. Ullward slanted 
down, landed the air-car on the 

■ 

beach, and the party alighted. 

The day was warm, the sun hot. 
A fresh wind blew in from the 
ocean. The surf broke upon the 
sand in massive roaring billows. 

The party stood appraising the 
scene. Ullward swung his arms. 
"Well, who's for it? Don't wait to 
be invited! We've got the whole 
ocean to ourselves!" 

Ravelin said, "It's so rough! 
Look how that water crashes 
down!" 

Liornetta Stobart turned away 



* 



ULLWARD'S RETREAT 



83 



with a shake of her head. "Illusion- 
pane surf is always so gentle. This 
could lift you right up and give 
you a good shaking!" 

"I expected nothing quite so 
vehement," Harris Cabe admitted. 

Ravelin beckoned to Iugenae. 

"You keep well away, Miss Puss. 

I don't want you swept out to sea. 

You'd find it Lonesome Ocean 

indeed!" 

Runy approached the water, 

waded gingerly into a sheet of re- 
treating foam. A comber thrashed 
down at him and he danced quick- 
ly back up the shore. 

"The water's cold," he reported. 

ULLWARD poised himself. 
"Well, here goes! I'll show 
you how it's done!" He trotted for- 
ward, stopped short, then flung 
himself into the face of a great 
white comber. 

The party on the beach 
watched. 

"Where is he?" asked Hyla 
Cabe. 

Iugenae pointed. "I saw part of 
him out there. A leg, or an arm." 

"There he is!" cried Ted. 
"Woof! Another one's caught him. 
I suppose some people might con- 
sider it sport ..." 

Ullward staggered to his feet, 
lurched through the retreating 
wash to shore. "Hah! Great! In- 
vigorating! Ted! Harris! Juvenal! 
Take a go at it!" 

Harris shook his head. "I don't 





- : - 
■ ■ f "?M 

m * . 




think I'll try it today, Bruham." 
"The next time for me too," said 
Juvenal Aquister. "Perhaps it 
won't be so rough." 

"But don't let us stop you!" urged 
Ted. "You swim as long as you 



•= 



«4 



84 



GALAXY 




^vMJS->sSk 



liiiil 




...:.::■. iilpliiiiil 
' wmmmmm n 



,.* ■■■* 



vKv V. 



■ v** ■ 



-■;: 

5y* 



;■■;<■. . 



ip.V 






Illlii : ' ■ 






mmm 



;■/*:■■ 






■i • ii 




like. We'll wait here for you." 
"Oh, I've had enough for now," 
said Ullward. "Excuse me while 
I change." 

When Ullward returned, he 
found his guests seated in the air- 



car. "Hello! Everyone ready to 
go?" 

"It's hot in the sun," explained 
Liornetta, "and we thought we'd 
enjoy the view better from inside." 

"When you look through the 



ULLWARD'S RETREAT 



85 



glass, it's almost like an illusion- 
pane," said Iugenae. 

"Oh, I see. Well, perhaps you're 
ready to visit other parts of the 
Ullward domain?" 

The proposal met with ap- 
proval; Ullward took the air-car 
into the air. "We can fly north 
over the pine woods, south over 
Mount Cairasco, which unfortu- 
nately isn't erupting just now." 

"Anywhere you like, Lamster 
Ullward," said Frobisher Worbeck. 
"No doubt it's all beautiful." 

Ullward considered the varied 
attractions of his leasehold. "Well, 
first to the Cinnamon Swamp." 

For two hours they flew, over 
the swamp, across the smoking 
crater of Mount Cairasco, east to 
the edge of Murky Mountains, 
along Calliope River to its source 
in Goldenleaf Lake. Ullward 
pointed out noteworthy views, in- 
teresting aspects. Behind him, the 

murmurs of admiration dwindled 
and finally died. 

"Had enough?" Ullward called 
back gayly. "Can't see half a con- 
tinent in one day! Shall we save 
some for tomorrow?" 



HP HERE was a moment's still- 
■*• ness. Then Liornetta Stobart 
said, "Lamster Ullward, we're 
simply dying for a peek at the 
Magnificent Mountains. I wonder 
— do you think we could slip over 
for a quick look? I'm sure Lam- 
ster Mail wouldn't really mind." 



>? 



Ullward shook his head with a 
rather stiff smile. "He's made me 
agree to a very definite set of 

rules. I've already had one brush 
with him." 

■ 

"How could he possibly find 
out?" asked Juvenal Aquister. 

"He probably wouldn't find 
out," said Ullward, "but- 

"It's a damned shame for him 
to lock you off into this drab little 
peninsula!" Frobisher Worbeck 
said indignantly. 

"Please, Lamster Ullward," Iu- 
genae wheedled. 

"Oh, very well," Ullward said 
recklessly. 

He turned the air-car east. The 
Murky Mountains passed below. 
The party peered from the win- 
dows, exclaiming at the marvels 
of the forbidden landscape. 

"How far are the Magnificent 
Mountains?" asked Ted. 

"Not far. Another thousand 
miles." 

"Why are you hugging the 
ground?" asked Frobisher Wor- 
beck. "Up in the air, man! Let's 
see the countryside!" 

Ullward hesitated. Mail was 
probably asleep. And, in the last 
analysis, he really had no right to 
forbid an innocent little— 

"Lamster Ullward," called Runy, 
"there's an air-car right behind us." 

The air-car drew up level. 
Kennes Mail's blue eyes met Ull- 
ward's across the gap. He mo- 
tioned Ullward down. 



86 



GALAXY 



Ullward compressed his mouth, 
swung the air-car down. From be- 
hind him came murmurs of sym- 
pathy and outrage. 

Below was a dark pine forest; 
Ullward set down in a pretty little 
glade. Mail landed nearby, jumped 
to the ground, signaled to Ullward. 
The two men walked to the side. 
The guests murmured together 
and shook their heads. 

Ullward presently returned to 
the air-car. "Everybody please 
get in," he said crisply. 

They rose into the air and flew 
west. "What did the chap have to 
say for himself?" queried Wor- 
beck. 

Ullward chewed at his lips. "Not 
too much. Wanted to know if I'd 
lost the way. I told him one or two 
things. Reached an understand- 
ing . . ." His voice dwindled, then 
rose in a burst of cheerfulness. 
"We'll have a party back at the 
lodge. What do we care for Mail 
and his confounded mountains?" 

"That's the spirit, Bruham!" 
cried Frobisher Worbeck. 



"DOTH Ted and Ullward tended 
■*-* bar during the evening. Either 
one or the other mingled rather 
more alcohol to rather less esters 
into the drinks than standard prac- 
tice recommended. As a result, 
the party became quite loud and 
gay. Ullward damned Mail's inter- 
fering habits; Worbeck explored 
six thousand years of common law 



in an effort to prove Mail a 
domineering tyrant; the women 
giggled; Iugenae and Runy 
watched cynically, then presently 
went off to attend to their own 
affairs. 

In the morning, the group slept 
late. Ullward finally tottered out 
on the terrace, to be joined one 
at a time by the others. Runy and 
Iugenae were missing. 

"Young rascals," groaned Wor- 
beck. "If they're lost, they'll have 
to find their own way back. No 
search parties for me." 

At noon, Runy and Iugenae re- 
turned in Ullward's air-car. 

"Good heavens," shrieked Rav- 
elin. "Iugenae, come here this in- 
stant! Where have you been?" 

Juvenal Aquister surveyed 
Runy sternly. "Have you lost your 
mind, taking Lamster Ullward's 
air-car without his permission?" 

"I asked him last night," Runy 
declared indignantly. "He said 
yes, take anything except the vol- 
cano because that's where he slept 
when his feet got cold, and the 
swamp because that's where he 
dropped his empty containers." 

"Regardless," said Juvenal in 
disgust, "you should have had bet- 
ter sense. Where have you been?" 

Runy fidgeted. Iugenae said, 
"Well, we went south for a while, 
then turned and went east — I 
think it was east. We thought if 
we flew low, Lamster Mail 

i 

wouldn't see us. So we flew low, 



ULLWARD'S RETREAT 



87 



through the mountains, and pretty 
soon we came to an ocean. We 
went along the beach and came to 
a house. We landed to see who 
lived there, but nobody was 
home." 

Ullward stifled a groan. 

"What would anyone want with 
a pen of birds?" asked Runy. 

"Birds? What birds? Where?" 

"At the house. There was a pen 
with a lot of big birds, but they 
kind of got loose while we were 
looking at them and all flew 



» 



away. 

"Anyway," Iugenae continued 
briskly, "we decided it was Lam- 
ster Mail's house, so we wrote a 
note, telling what everybody 
thinks of him and pinned it to his 
door." 

Ullward rubbed his forehead. 
"Is that all?" 

■ 

"Well, practically all." Iugenae 
became diffident. She looked at 
Runy and the two of them giggled 
nervously. 

"There's more?" yelled Ullward. 
"What, in heaven's name?" 

"Nothing very much," said 
Iugenae, following a crack in the 
terrace with her toe. "We put a 
booby-trap over the door— just a 
bucket of water. Then we came 
home." 

The screen buzzer sounded 
from inside the lodge. Everybody 
looked at Ullward. Ullward heaved 
a deep sigh, rose to his feet, went 
inside. 



r I ^HAT very afternoon, the Outer 
■■■ Ring Express packet was due 
to pass the junction point. Fro- 
bisher Worbeck felt sudden and 
acute qualms of conscience for the 
neglect his business suffered while 
he dawdled away hours in idle 
enjoyment. 

"But my dear old chap!" ex- 
claimed Ullward. "Relaxation is 
good for you!" 

True, agreed Frobisher Wor- 
beck, if one could make himself 
oblivious to the possibility of 
fiasco through the carelessness of 
underlings. Much as he deplored 
the necessity, in spite of his in- 
clination to loiter for weeks, he 
felt impelled to leave — and not 
a minute later than that very af- 
ternoon. 

Others of the group likewise re- 
membered important business 
which they had to see to, and those 
remaining felt it would be a shame 
and an imposition to send up the 
capsule half-empty and likewise 
decided to return. 

Ullward's arguments met un- 
yielding walls of obstinacy. Rather 
glumly, he went down to the cap- 
sule to bid his guests farewell. As 
they climbed through the port, 
they expressed their parting 
thanks : 

"Bruham, it's been absolutely 
marvelous!" 

"You'll never know how we've 
enjoyed this outing, Lamster Ull- 
ward!" 



88 



GALAXY 



"The air, the space, the privacy 
— I'll never forget!" 

"It was the most, to say the 
least." 

The port thumped into its 
socket. Ullward stood back, wav- 
ing rather uncertainly. 

Ted Seehoe reached to press the 
Active button. Ullward sprang for- 
ward, pounded on the port. 

"Wait!" he bellowed. "A few 
things I've got to attend to! I'm 
coming with you!" 

ttr< OME in, come in," said Ull- 

^ ward heartily, opening the 
door to three of his friends: Coble 
and his wife Heulia Sansom, and 
Coble's young, pretty cousin Lan- 
dine. "Glad to see you!" 

"And we're glad to come! We've 
heard so much of your wonderful 
ranch, we've been on pins and 
needles all day!" 

"Oh, come now! It's not so mar- 
velous as all that!" 

"Not to you, perhaps— you live 
here!" 

Ullward smiled. "Well, I must 
say I live here and still like it. 
Would you like to have lunch, or 
perhaps you'd prefer to walk 
around for a few minutes? I've 
just finished making a few changes, 
but I'm happy to say everything is 
in order." 

"Can we just take a look?" 

"Of course. Come over here. 



j 



Stand just so. Now — are you 
ready? 

"Ready." 

Ullward snapped the wall back. 

"Ooh!" breathed Landine. "Isn't 
it beautiful!" 

"The space, the open feeling!" 

"Look, a tree! What a wonder- 
ful simulation!" 

"That's no simulation," said 
Ullward. "That's a genuine tree!" 

"Lamster Ullward, are you tell- 
ing the truth?" 

"I certainly am. I never tell lies 
to a lovely young lady. Come along, 
over this way." 

"Lamster Ullward, that cliff is 
so convincing, it frightens me." 

Ullward grinned. "It's a good 
job." He signaled a halt. "Now— 
turn around." 

The group turned. They looked 
out across a great golden savan- 
nah, dotted with groves of blue- 
green trees. A rustic lodge com- 
manded the view, the door being 
the opening into Ullward's living 
room. 

The group stood in silent ad- 
miration. Then Heulia sighed. 
"Space. Pure space." 

"I'd swear I was looking miles," 
said Coble. 

Ullward smiled, a trifle wistful- 
ly. "Glad you like my little retreat. 
Now what about lunch? Genuine 
algae!" 

JACK VANCE 



ULLWARD'S RETREAT 



89 



The 





mber of the Beast 



By FRITZ LEIBER 



He had to get the criminal's 
number — but the wrong number 
meant his own number was up! 



Illustrated by MARTINEZ 




WISH," said the Young 
Captain, police chief of 

i 

High Chicago, the turbu- 
lent satellite that hangs over the 
meridian of the midwestern 
groundside city, "I wish that some- 
times the telepathic races of the 
Galaxy weren't such consistent 
truth-tellers and silence-keepers." 
"Your four suspects are all tele- 
paths?" the Old Lieutenant asked. 



"Yes. I also wish I had more 
than half an hour to decide which 
one to accuse. But Earthside has 
muscled into the case and the 
pressure is on. If I can't reason it 
out, I must make a guess. A bare 
half-hour they give me." 

"Then perhaps you shouldn't 

waste it with a pensioned-off old 
louey." 

The Young Captain shook his 



90 



GALAXY 



head decisively. "No. You think. 
You have time to now." 

The Old Lieutenant smiled. 
"Sometimes I wish I hadn't. And 
I doubt if I can give you any spe- 
cial angles on telepaths, Jim. It's 
true I've lately been whiling away 
the time on informal study of alien 
thought systems with Khla-Khla 
the Martian, but—" 

"I didn't come to you looking 
for a specialist on telepathy" the 
Young Captain asserted sharply. 

"Very well then, Jim. You know 
what you're doing. Let's hear your 
case. And give me background. I 
don't keep up with the news." 

f T 1 HE Young Captain looked 
•*- skeptical. "Everyone in High 
Chicago has heard about the mur- 
der — not two furlongs from here 
— of the representative of the 
Arcturian peace party." 

"I haven't," the Old Lieutenant 
said. "Who are the Arcturians? I 
tell you, for an oldster like me, 
the Now is just one more histori- 
cal period. Better consult some- 
one else, Jim." 

"No. The Arcturians are the 
first non-related humanoid race to 
turn up in the Galaxy. Non-related 
to Earth humans, that is. True, 
they have three eyes, and six fin- 
gers on each hand, but they are 
hairless mammalian bipeds just 
the same. One of their females is 
the current burlesque sensation of 
the Star and Garter." 



- 

"The police found that a good 
spot to keep their eyes on in my 
day too," the Old Lieutenant re- 
called, nodding. "Are the Arctur- 
ians telepaths?" 

"No. I'll come to the telepathy 
angle later. The Arcturians are 
split into two parties: those who 
want to enter the Commerce Union 
and open their planets to alien 

starships, including Earth's — the 
peace party, in short — and those 

who favor a policy of strict non- 
intercourse which, as far as we 
know, always ultimately leads to 
war. The war party is rather the 
stronger of the two. Any event 
may tip the balance." 

"Such as a representative of 
the peace party coming quietly to 
Earth and getting himself bumped 
before he even gets down from 
High Chicago?" 

"Exactly. It looks bad, Sean. It 
looks as if we wanted war. The 
other member peoples of the Com- 
merce Union are skeptical enough 
already about the ultimate peace- 
fulness of Earth's intentions to- 






ward the whole Galaxy. They look 
on the Arcturian situation as a test. 
They say that we accepted the 
Polarians and Antareans and all 
the rest as equals simply because 
they are so different from us in 
form and culture — if s easy to 
admit theoretical equality with a 
bumblebee, say, and then perhaps 
do him dirt afterward. 

"But, our galactic critics ask, will 



THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST 



91 



_„,„..,„-• ,..-■•—-"-.••-• '••-"■ ^..^ 



,..--•- • >•"■••■ " 



■-.-.-• —•>...- « 



^^-■^"^' , 



. rtf ^-rtS ■ . 







-/'■-' " : -"* 



Jh^w^v'^'^V**""**'"* - **"*" 



92 



GALAXY 



Earthmen be so ready or willing 
to admit equality with a humanoid 
race? It's sometimes harder, you 
know, to agree that your own 
brother is a human being than to 
grant the title to an anonymous 
peasant on the other side of the 
globe. They say — I continue to 
speak for our galactic critics — 
that Earthmen will openly work 
for peace with Arcturus while 



secretly sabotaging it." 

"Including murder." 

"Right, Sean. So unless we can 
pin this crime on aliens — best of 
all on extremists in the Arcturian 
war party (something I believe 
but can in no way prove) — the 
rumor will go through the Union 
that Earth wants war, while the 
Arcturian Earth-haters will have 
everything their own way." 

"Leave off the background, Jim. 
How was the murder done?" 




ERMITTING himself a bitter 
smile, the Young Captain said 
wistfully, "With the whole Galaxy 
for a poison cabinet and a weapon 
shop, with almost every means 
available of subtle disguise, of sud- 
den approach and instantaneous 
getaway — everything but time ma- 
chine, and some crook will come 
along with that any day now — 
the murder had to be done with 
a blunt instrument and by one 
of four aliens domiciled in the 
same caravansary as the Arcturian 
peace-party man. 



"There's something very ugly, 
don't you think, in the vision of a 
blackjack gripped by the tentacle 
of an octopoid or in the pinchers of 
a black Martian? To be frank, 
Sean, I'd rather the killer had been 
fancier in his modus operandi. It 
would have let me dump the heavy 
end of the case in the laps of 
the science boys." 

"I was always grateful myself 
when I could invoke the physi- 
cists," the Old Lieutenant agreed. 
"It's marvelous what colored lights 
and the crackle of Geiger counters 
do to take the pressure off a plain 
policeman. These four aliens you 
mention are the telepaths?" 

"Right, Sean. Shady characters, 
too, all four of them, criminals for 

hire, which makes it harder. And 
each of them takes the typical 
telepath point of view — Almighty, 
how it exasperates me! — that we 
ought to know which one of them 
is guilty without asking questions! 
They know well enough that Earth- 
men aren't telepathic, but still they 
hide behind the lofty pretense that 
every intelligent inhabitant of the 
Cosmos must be telepathic. 

"If you come right out and tell 
them that your mind is abso- 
lutely deaf-dumb-and-blind to the 
thoughts of others, they act as if 
you'd made a dreadful social blun- 
der and they cover up for you by 
pretending not to have heard you. 
Talk about patronizing—! Why, 
they're like a woman who is for- 



THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST 



93 



■ 



ever expecting you to know what 
it is she's angry about without ever 
giving you a hint what it is. They're 
like-" 

"Now, now, I've dealt with a 
few telepaths in my time, Jim. I 
take it that the other prong of 
your dilemma is that if you offi- 
cially accuse one of them, and you 
hit it right, then he will up and 
confess like a good little animal, 
using the ritual of speech to tell 
you who commissioned the mur- 
der and all the rest of it, and every- 
thing will be rosy. 

"But if you hit it wrong, it will 
be a mortal insult to his whole 
race — to all telepaths, for that 
matter — and there will be whole 
solar systems moving to resign 
from the Union and all manner of 
other devils to pay. Because, con- 
tinuing the telepath's fiction that 
you are a telepath yourself, you 
must have known he was innocent 
and yet you accused him." 

641VTOST right, Sean," the 
-*-*-*- Young Captain admitted 
ruefully. "As I said at the begin- 
ning, truth-tellers and silence-keep- 
ers—intellectual prigs, all of them! 
Refusing to betray each others' 
thoughts to a non-telepath, I can 
understand that — though just one 
telepathic stoolpigeon would make 
police work ten mountains easier. 
But all these other lofty idealistic 
fictions do get my goat! If I were 
running the Union—" 



UTJ. 



"Jim, your time is running short. 
I take it you want help in decid- 
ing which one to accuse. That is, 
if you do decide to chance it rather 
than shut your mouth, lose face 
and play for time." 

I've got to chance it, Sean — 
Earthside demands it. But as 
things stand, I'll be backing no 
better than a three-to-one shot. For 
you see, Sean, every single suspect 
of the four is just as suspect as the 
others. In my book, they're four 
equally bad boys." 

"Sketch me your suspects then, 
quickly." The Old Lieutenant 
closed his eyes. 

"There's Tlik-Tcha the Mar- 
tian," the Young Captain began, 
ticking them off on his fingers. "A 
nasty black beetle, that one. Held 
his breath for twenty minutes and 
then belched it in my face. Kept 
printing 'No Comment' white-on- 
black on his chest to whatever I 
asked him. In Garamond type!" 

"Cheer up, Jim. It might have 
been Rustic Capitals. Next." 

"Hlilav the Antarean multi- 
brach. Kept gently waving his ten- 
tacles all through the interroga- 
tion — I thought he was trying to 
hypnotize me! Then it occurred to 
me he might be talking in code, 
but the interpreter said no. At the 
end, he gives a long insulting 
whistle, like some shameless swish. 
Whistle didn't signify anything 
either, the interpreter said, beyond 
a polite wish for my serenity. 



94 



GALAXY 



"Third customer was Fa the head while he smiled. "So these 



Rigelian composite. Took off a 
limb — 



cial 



real, of course, not artifi- 
and kept fiddling with it 



while I shot questions at him. I 
could hardly keep my mind on 
what I was saying — expected him 
to take his head off next! He did 
that too, just as he started back to 
his cell." 



UHTELEPATHS can surely be 
•*■ exasperating," the Old Lieu- 
tenant agreed. "I always had great 
trouble in keeping in mind what a 
boring business a vocal interview 
must be to them — very much as if 
a man, quite capable of speech, 
should insist on using pencil and 
paper to conduct a conversation 
with you, with perhaps the further 
proviso that you print your re- 
marks stylishly. Your fourth sus- 
pect, Jim?" 

"Hrohrakak the Polarian cen- 
tipedal. He reared up in a great 
question-mark bend when I ad- 
dressed him — looked very much 
like a giant cobra covered with 
thick black fur. Kept chattering 

to himself too, very low — inter- 
preter said he was saying over and 
over again, 'Oh, All-father, when 
will this burden be lifted from 
me?' Halfway through, he reaches 
out a little black limb to Donovan 
to give him what looks like a pret- 
ty pink billiard ball." 

"Oh, naughty, naughty," the Old 
Lieutenant observed, shaking his 



are your four suspects, Jim? The 
four rather gaudy racehorses of 
whom you must back one?" 

"They are. Each of them had 
opportunity. Each of them has a 
criminal reputation and might well 
have been hired to do the mur- 
der — either by extremists in the 
Arcturian war party or by some 
other alien organization hostile to 
Earth — such as the League of the 
Beasts with its pseudo-religious 
mumbo- jumbo." 

"I don't agree with you about 
the League, but don't forget our 
own bloody-minded extremists," 
the Old Lieutenant reminded him. 
"There are devils among us too, 
Jim." 

"True, Sean. But whoever paid 

for this crime, any one of the four 
might have been his agent. For 
to complete the problem and tie 
it up in a Gordian knot a yard 
thick, each one of my suspects has 
recently and untraceably received 
a large sum of money — enough so 
that, in each case, it might well 
have paid for murder." 

EANING forward, the Old 
Lieutenant said, "So? Tell me 
about that, Jim." 

"Well, you know the saying that 
the price of a being's life anywhere 
in the Galaxy is one thousand of 
whatever happens to be the going 
unit of big money. And, as you 
know, it's not too bad a rule of 




THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST 



95 



thumb. In this case, the unit is gold 
martians, which are neither gold 
nor backed by Mars's bitter little 
bureaucracy, but—" 

"I know! You've only minutes 
left, Jim. What were the exact 
amounts?" 

"Hlilav the Antarean multi- 
brach had received 1024 gold mar- 
tians, Hrohrakak the Polarian cen- 
tipedal 1000 gold martians, Fa the 
Rigelian composite 1728 gold mar- 
tians, Tlik-Tcha the Martian 
coleopteroid 666 gold martians." 

"Ah-" the Old Lieutenant said 
very softly. "The number of the 
beast." 

"Come again, Sean?" 

"'Here is wisdom,'" quoted the 
Old Lieutenant, still speaking very 
softly. "'Let him that hath under- 
standing count the number of the 
beast: for it is the number of a 
man'; Revelation chapter thirteen, 
verse eighteen. Revelation, Jim, 
the last book in the Bible." 

"I know that," the Young Cap- 
tain burst out excitedly. "I also 
know the next words, if only be- 
cause they're a favorite with nu- 
merology crackpots — of whom I 
see quite a few at the station. The 
next words are: 'and his number is 
Six hundred threescore and six.' 
Almighty, that's Tlik-Tcha's-that's 
the number of his gold martians! 
And we've always known that the 
League of the Beasts got some of 
its mumbo-jumbo from Earth, so 
why not from its Bible? Sean, you 



clever old devil, I'm going to play 
your hunch." The Young Captain 
sprang up. "I'm going back to the 
station and have the four of them 

- 

in and accuse Tlik-Tcha to his 
face." 

The Old Lieutenant lifted a 
hand. "One moment, Jim," he said 
sharply. "You're to go back to the 
station, to be sure, and have the 
four of them in, yes — but you're 
to accuse Fa the Rigelian." 

The Young Captain almost sat 
down again, involuntarily. "But 
that doesn't make sense, Sean," he 
protested. "Fa's number is 1728. 
That doesn't fit your clue. It's not 
the number of the beast." 

"Beasts have all sorts of num- 
bers, Jim," the Old Lieutenant 
said. "The one you want is 1728." 

"But your reason, Sean? Give 



» 



me your reason. 
. "No. There's no time and you 
mightn't believe me if I did. You 
asked for my advice and I've given 
it to you. Accuse Fa the Rigelian." 

"But-" 

"Thaf s all, Jim." 

1MT INUTES later, the" Young 
-L" Captain was still feeling the 
slow burn of his exasperation, 
though he was back at the station 
and the moment of decision 
weighed sickeningly upon him. 
What a fool he'd been, he told 
himself savagely, to waste his time 
on such an old dodderer! The 
nerve of the man, giving out with 



96 



GALAXY 



advice — orders, practically! — that 
he refused to justify, behaving with 
the whimsicality, the stubbornness 

l 

— yes, the insolence! — that only 
the retired man can afford. 

He scanned the four alien faces 
confronting him across the station 
desk — Tlik-Tcha's like a section 
of ebon bowling ball down to the 
three deeply recessed perceptors, 
Hrohrakak's a large black floor- 
mop faintly quivering, Fa's pale 
and humanoid, but oversize, like 
an emperor's death mask, Hlilav's 
a cluster of serially blinking eyes 
and greenish jowls. He wished he 
could toss them all in a bag and 
reach in — wearing an armor- 
plated glove — and pick one. 

The room stank of disinfec- 
tants and unwashed alienity — the 
familiar reek of the oldtime police 
station greatly diversified. The 
Young Captain felt the sweat 
trickling down his flushed fore- 
head. He opened wide the louvre 
behind him and the hum of the 
satellite's central concourse poured 
in. It didn't help the atmosphere, 
but for a moment he felt less 
constricted. 

Then he scanned the four faces 
once more and the deadline des- 
peration was back upon him. Pick 
a number, he thought, any num- 
ber from one to two thousand. 
Grab a face. Trust to luck. Sean's 
a stubborn old fool, but the boys 
always said he had the damnedest 
luck . . . 



His finger stabbed out. "In the 
nexus of these assembled minds," 
he said loudly, "I publish the 
truth I share with yours, Fa—" 

That was all he had time to get 
out. At his first movement, the 
Rigelian sprang up, whipped off 
his head and hurled it straight to- 
ward the center of the open louvre. 

But if the Young Captain had 
been unready for thought, he was 
more than keyed up for action. 
He snagged the head as it shot 
past, though he fell off his chair in 
doing it. The teeth snapped once, 
futilely. Then a tiny voice from 
the head spoke the words he'd 
been praying for: "Let the truth 
that our minds share be published 
forth. But first, please, take me 
back to my breath source . . ." 

TVTEXT day, the Old Lieutenant 
■*■ 1 and the Young Captain talked 
it all over. 

"So you didn't nab Fa's ac- 
complices in the concourse?" the 
Old Lieutenant asked. 

"No, Sean, they got clean away 
— as they very likely would have, 
with Fa's head, if they'd managed 
to lay their hands on it. Fa 
wouldn't rat on them." 

"But otherwise our fancy-boy 
killer confessed in full? Told the 
whole story, named his employers, 
and provided the necessary evi- 
dence to nail them and himself 
once and for all?" 

"He did indeed. When one of 



THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST 



97 



those telepath characters does 
talk, it's a positive pleasure to 
hear him. He makes it artistic, like 
an oration from Shakespeare. But 
now, sir, I want to ask the ques- 
tion you said you didn't have time 
to answer yesterday — though I'll 
admit I'm asking it with a little 
different meaning than when I 
asked it first. You gave me a big 
shock then and I'll admit that 
I'd never have gone along and fol- 
lowed your advice blind the way 
I did, except that I had nothing 
else to go on, and I was impressed 
with that Bible quotation you had 
so pat — until you told me it didn't 
mean what it seemed to! 

"But I did follow your advice, 
and it got me out of one of the 

worst jams I've ever been in — 
with a pat on the back from Earth- 
side to boot! So now let me ask 
you, Sean, in the name of all that's 
holy, how did you know so surely 
which one of the four it was?" 
"I didn't know, Jim. It's more 
accurate to say I guessed." 

ffV^OU old four-flusher! Do you 
-*- mean to say you just played 
a lucky hunch?" 

"Not quite, Jim. It was a guess, 
all right, but an educated guess. 
It all lay in the numbers, of 

i 

course, the numbers of gold mar- 
tians, the numbers of our four 
beasts. Tlik-Tcha's 666 did strong- 
ly indicate that he was in the em- 
ploy of the League of the Beasts, 



for I understand they are great 
ones on symbolic actions and like 
to ring in the number 666 when- 
ever they can. But that gets us 
just nowhere — the League, though 
highly critical of most Earthmen, 
has never shown itself desirous of 
fomenting interstellar war. 

"Hrohrakak's 1000 would indi- 
cate that he was receiving money 
from some organization of Earth- 
men, or from some alien source 

that happens also to use the deci- 
mal system. Anyone operating 

around Sol would be apt to use 
the decimal system. Hrohrakak's 
1000 points in no one direction. 

"Now as to Hlilav's 1024 - 
that number is the tenth power 
of two. As far as I know, no natural 

species of being uses the binary 
system. However, it is the rule 
with robots. The indications are 
that Hlilav is working for the In- 
terstellar Brotherhood of Free 
Business Machines or some like or- 
ganization, and, as we both know, 
the robots are not ones to pound 
the war drums or touch off the 
war fuses, for they are always the 
chief sufferers. 

"That leaves Fa's 1728. Jim, the 
first thing you told me about the 
Arcturians was that they were 
hexadactylic bipeds. Six fingers on 
one hand means 12 on two — and 
almost a mortal certainty that the 
beings so equipped by nature will 
be using the duodecimal system, 
in many ways the most convenient 



98 



GALAXY 



of all. In the duodecimal system, 
'one thousand* is not 10 times 10 
times 10, but 12 times 12 times 
12 — which comes out as 1728 
exactly in our decimal system. 

"As you said, 'one thousand' of 
the going unit is the price of a 
being's life. Someone paid 'one 
thousand' gold martians by an 
Arcturian would have 1728 in his 
pocket according to our count. 

"The size of Fa's purse seemed 
to me an odds-on indication that 
he was in the pay of the Arc- 
turian war party. Incidentally, he 
must have felt very smart getting 
that extra 728 — a more prin- 
cipled beast-criminal would have 
scorned to profit from a mere dif- 
ference in numerical systems." 

r I^HE Young Captain took some 

-*- time before he answered. He 

smiled incredulously more than 



once, and once he shook his head. 
Finally he said, "And you asked 

me to go ahead, Sean, and make 

my accusation, with no more indi- 
cation than that?" 

"It worked for you, didn't it?" 
the Old Lieutenant countered 
briskly. "And as soon as Fa started 
to confess, you must have known 
I was right beyond any possibility 
of doubt. Telepaths are always 

truth-tellers." 

The Young Captain shot him a 

very strange look. 

"It couldn't be, Sean-?" he said 
softly. "It couldn't be that you're 
a telepath yourself? That that's 
the alien thought system you've 
been studying with your Martian 
witch doctor?" 

"If it were," the Old Lieutenant 

replied, "I'd tell-" He stopped. 
He twinkled. "Or would I?" 

FRITZ LEIBER 




THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST 



99 







GALAXY'S 





Shelf 



THE BLACK CLOUD by Fred never attempts to bludgeon his 



Hoyle. Harper & Bros., N.Y. $2.95 



w 



HO is better qualified to 
write science-fiction than the 

celebrated Fred Hoyle? 

I, for one, never suspected a 
fictional bent in the makeup of 
such a noted cosmological theoret- 
tician. 

But the high quality of the 
narrative itself is even more aston- 
ishing. 

To be sure, it contains plenty of 
Hoyle's pet theories, but to him 
the story's the thing. Though his 
theories may be overwhelming, he 



reader with them. In fact, there is 
such an abundance of spry, dry 
good humor that one is forced to 
re-evaluate his concept of this 
sober scientist. With the utmost of 



apparent ease, Hoyle writes a 
brand of humor that eludes the 
pens of pros. 

He has taken one of SF's hoar- 
iest chestnuts: the engulf ment of 
Earth by cosmic catastrophe in 
the form of a giant cloud of gas. 
However, he has fresh-roasted it 
into a most palatable product. His 
story is so honest that his scientists 
don't come up with even a single 



100 



GALAXY 



»1 

small-scale miracle to lick the deterrent to enjoyment and learn- 
cloud, but they do outsmart the ing. 



pants off their natural enemy, the 
professional politicians.' 

Let's hope that Hoyle can tear 
himself away from cosmic con- 
templation long enough to write 
more superior fictional ventures 
like this. 



P. Putnam's Sons, N. Y., $5.00 

r ¥ 1 HE ability to capture interest 
■*• while giving instruction is a gift 
possessed by too few teachers. 
Clason, member in good standing 
of the Astronomical Society, is also 
a fictioneer, having penned the di- 
verting Ark of Venus a couple of 
seasons back. Now he combines his 
talents as storyteller and lecturer 
in this glowing volume on self-lu- 
minous bodies. 

Although the publishers claim 
this to be a book for the layman 
without specialized knowledge, 
their statement stands amending: 
the reader's understanding is not 

hurt by a speaking acquaintance 
with trigonometry and logarithms. 
Mathematical computations and 
formulae abound and are sure to 
be a pure delight to the well- 
grounded reader. However, there 
is so much other rewarding ma- 
terial, presented at times in a 
downright charming manner, that 
the lack of special education is no 



For example, in comparing the 
tidal theory of planetary birth with 
the condensation theory: "Copula- 
tion between stars is no longer 
necessary. Virgin births are the 
prevailing rule." But Clason isn't 
just being cute. His object is edu- 
cation and his reader learns and 



EXPLORING THE DISTANT likes it 
STARS by Clyde B. Clason, G. 



THE MAN WHO COULDN'T 
SLEEP by Charles Eric Maine. 
J. B. Lippincott, Phila., $3.00 



TVTUMBERLESS SF authors 
-L^ have salted away countless 
humans in dreamland ever since 
Lawrence Manning came up with 
the escape formula back in the 
old days. In Maine's second "men- 
acing" novel for Lippincott (#1 
being Isotope Man ) , his insomniac 
inventor, "Dr." Maxwell, discovers 
Psychotape while searching for 
the surcease of sleep. Unfortunate 
ly, like XP in Shepherd Mead's 
Big Ball of Wax, Psychotape plays 
back the emotions of whoever 
made the recording. And as every 
meddling author has discovered 
since Manning, emotional repro- 
ductions constitute both Big Busi- 
ness and a Menace, (justification 
of nomenclature). 

Since Isotope Man is Hollywood 
bound, how could the equally dis- 
mal The Man Who Couldn't Sleep 
be left behind? 



• •••• SHELF 



101 



■ 



SATELLITES AND SPACE- 
FLIGHT by Eric Burgess. The 
MacMillan Co., N. Y., $3.95 

UT? X-CH AIRMAN of the Brit- 

■*-^ ish Interplanetary Society." 
Say that to a man-in-the-street 
and he will picture a wild-eyed 
visionary with head in the sky and 
feet solidly planted on the clouds. 
This image would be rapidly dis- 
pelled by Burgess's jaundiced look 
in sober fashion at the possibilities 
and probabilities of space flight 
based on our present technology. 

He finds that, von Braun aside, 
our massive manned assaults on 
space must await technological ad- 
vances requiring at least a couple 
of decades. Of course, scientific 
breakthroughs are occurring that 
can lessen the interval, but world 
political tensions preclude enorm- 
ous expenditures, according to 
Burgess. 

Since his material was assem- 
bled before October '57, he reck- 
oned without the impact on Amer- 
ican efforts of the Soviet successes. 
And who knows what the Russian 
sleeve is hiding? 

In any case, although an excel- 
lent study of the space problem, it 
undoubtedly errs on the side of 
caution. 




FROM THE EARTH TO THE 
MOON and A TRIP AROUND 
IT by Jules Verne. J. B. Lippin- 
cott Co., Phila., N. Y., $1.95 



T would be capricious to at- 
tempt a review of a world-fa- 
mous classic. I had intended writ- 
ing, "Following his enormous re- 
cent successes (Twenty Thousand 
Leagues and Around the World), 
Verne has captivated the imagina- 
tion of the world with his prophet- 

■ 

ic account of a pre-Sputnik moon 
shot." However, sober considera- 
tion has humbled my approach to 
the quaintly written and frequently 
error-ridden book. Although Verne 
never laid hand to experimental 
object, no single person can claim 
as much credit for Man's present 
efforts to escape the confines of 
Earth. 

Lippincott be praised for this 
re-issue. 



THE INHABITED UNIVERSE 



by Kenneth 
Derek D. 



W, Gatland and 
Dempster. David 



McKay Co. Inc., N. Y., $3.95 

A T first glance, it may appear 
-£*■ that Gatland leaps wildly in 
all directions since he attempts 
to reconcile the micro- with the 
macro-cosmic; the material with 
the spiritual; the fumbling begin- 
nings of life with psi powers. He 
admittedly "Casts his net wide and 
deep," but he has come up with, 
not something fishy, but real brain 
food. 

The existence of anti-matter nas 
been speculation matter since Jack 
Williamson's old Seetee stories, 



102 



GALAXY 



but in 1955 the anti-proton was 
discovered and the anti-neuron in 
'56. The possible became actual. 
And did you know that in '55 
no less than 35 electronic and as- 
tronautical firms were s working on 
anti-gravities? That's a brain- 
stopper but by no means the top- 
per in this always interesting book. 

JOURNEY THROUGH SPACE 

by Speedy Williams. Exposition 
Press, N. Y ., $3.00 



JUNIOR EDUCATION CORNER 




CCASIONALLY, as now, the 
reviewer encounters a volume 
that engenders wonder — pure 
wonder, not the "sense of" that 
elderly fans wonder about having 
lost. This is such a book. It is an 

account of a space trip to Phobos, 
circumference 1,398 miles, diame- 
ter 395 miles. This is the same 
satellite of Mars that you and I 
know? The narrative abounds in 
other new and equally unsus- 
pected information and absolutely 
yawns and creaks with narrative 
tension. 

Colonel Speedy Williams, our 
hero, after suffering with the 
reader through the boredom of a 
long voyage, finally returns from 
Phobos with a concordat between 
Mars and the U.S., the "superior 
race" on Earth. 

The dust jacket is a truly beau- 
tiful job which, once again, goes 
to prove that one just can't judge 
a book. 



WHITE LAND OF ADVEN- 
TURE by Walter Sullivan. Whit- 
tlesey House, N.Y., Toronto, $3.50 




UEST for a Continent, Sulli- 
van's definitive work on the 
Antarctic, provides the source ma- 
terial for this volume slanted for 
a more youthful audience. In his 
own words, though, it "is no 
watered-down account but shorter, 
easier reading than the highly de- 
tailed QFACr 

My observation, in fact, is that 
there is some material, particularly 
in the poignant episode of the 
doomed Scott expedition, that did 
not appear anywhere at all in the 

longer book. 

Sullivan has done well by the 
story of this huge, challenging deep- 
freeze continent. 



EXPLORING EARTH AND 
SPACE by Margaret O. Hyde. 
Whittlesey House, N. Y., Toronto, 
$3.00 



"jVT RS. Hyde's book is an ex- 
-*-*-*- pertly executed resume of 
the program of the IGY written 
at about junior high school level. 
The various areas of investigation 
receive careful documentation. 
The net result is a coverage that is 
as authoritative as and more as- 
similable than its predecessors. 

FLOYD C. GALE 



• •*•• SHELF 



103 



. 




I 







r 



By ROBERT SHECKLEY 



THIRD PART OF FOUR 



Hunted by the living and haunted by the dead 

r 

. • • Blaine had to do a lot better than merely 
look alive to stay alive in this grim world! 

Illustrated by WOOD 



SYNOPSIS 




HOMAS BLAINE, a 
young yacht designer, is 
killed in a car crash while 
driving home to New York. He 
comes to life 1 58 years in the fu- 
ture, in a different body. He is 
questioned by 

MR. REILLY, a choleric old 

man, president of the Rex Cor- 

which has snatched 



poration, 

Blaine y s mind into 



the future. 



Reilly learns that Blaine is not 
the man that Rex was trying to 
save. Blaine is saved from Reilly f s 
wrath by 

MARIE THORNE, a cold and 
beautiful young woman employed 
by Reilly, who tells Blaine about 

THE HEREAFTER COR- 



THE THRESHOLD, a region 
between Earth and the hereafter, 
inhabited by advisory spirits not 
yet ready for full transition to the 
hereafter, and by minds which 
have gone insane during the trau- 
ma of death. 

The Hereafter Corporation has 
been trying to sell their life-after- 
death insurance to the organized 
religions, which do not accept the 
scientific hereafter. Reilly hoped 
to open this large potential market 
by bringing a religious leader from 
1958 to 2112. Instead, he got 
Blaine — who remembers nothing 
about the Threshold through which 
he passed. 

Blaine is asked to commit sui- 
cide in exchange for the precious 
hereafter insurance. He refuses. 



PORATION, of which Rex is a Reilly thinks he will change his 



subsidiary. This corporation guar- 
antees, for a high fee, the certainty 
of life after death. Blaine also 

learns about 



mind, and allows Blaine to witness 
his reincarnation into a younger 
body which he has bought on the 
open market. 



104 



-. 



GALAXY 



** 




TIME KILLER 



105 



The reincarnation is begun, but 
a spirit fights Reilly for possession 
of the host body, and wins. 

SMITH, as the new possessor 
conies to be called, can remem- 
ber nothing. He is barely able to 
control the corpselike host body, 
which had remained dead too long 
for successful integration. Smith 
has, therefore, a disease of the 
times, known as Zombieism. Al- 
though he remembers nothing else, 
the zombie Smith thinks he knows 



Blaine 



and plans to see him 



■ 



again. 

Marie Thome takes Blaine 
away from Rex for his safety, and 
turns him over to 

CARL ORC, for safekeeping. 
But Ore, with the aid of a Trans- 

plant steerer named Joe, drugs 
Blaine. Ore is leader of a gang of 
body snatchers. Blaine learns this 
from 

RAY MELHILL, another pris- 
oner. Legal bodies are scarce, so 
there is a thriving black market in 
them for reincarnation purposes. 
Blaine is chloroformed and comes 
to consciousness in Marie Thome's 
apartment. 

She didn't know that Ore was 
a body snatcher. When she found 
out, she bought Blaine back. Blaine 
asks her to rescue his friend Ray 
Melhill, but its too late. Melhill 
is already dead and his body in- 
habited by another man. 

Blaine goes out in search of 
work, but finds no jobs he can per- 



form in the complex world of 
2112. Even the position of 'man 
from the pasf is filled — by a 
fraud named Ben Therler. Blaine 
keeps looking, and learns some- 
thing about life in this world 
where some have the assurance of 
life after death. He sees the pub- 
lic suicide booths, and watches a 
Berserker slash through a crowd 
until the police kill him. And 
Blaine receives a call from 

THE SPIRITUAL SWITCH- 
BOARD, an organization which 
maintains contact with the minds 
in the Threshold. At the Switch- 
board, Blaine speaks with Ray 

Melhill, who has survived the 
death trauma. Melhill, with a 

spirit's clairvoyant powers, warns 
Blaine that he is in danger of be- 
ing haunted. This is a serious 
matter, for ghosts, werewolves, 
vampires are minds that have sur- 
vived the death trauma, but have 
gone insane during it. From Mel- 
hill, Blaine gets a job lead. He is 
employed by 

HULL, a wealthy man plan- 
ning a Hunt. In 2112, rich men 
frequently arrange suicides when 
boredom becomes oppressive, and 
one of their gaudier methods is 
to employ men to hunt them down 
with antique weapons such as 
swords and spears. Hull is also 
armed, with a rapier, and plans 
to fight to the death. 

SAMMY JONES, a veteran 
hunter, befriends Blaine. Jones 



106 



GALAXY 



kills Hull on the third day oi the 
Hunt. Blaine returns to his room. 
There he discovers what haunt- 
ing is like. A poltergeist blocks his 
retreat and prepares to kill him 
with a levitated chair. 



17. 




S the chair moved through 
the air toward him, Blaine 
shouted for help in a voice that 
made the window rattle. His only 
answer was the poltergeist's high- 
pitched laugh. 

Were they all deaf in the hotel? 
Why didn't someone answer? 

Then he realized why no one 
would even consider helping him. 
Violence was a commonplace in 
this world and a man's death was 
entirely his own business. There 
would be no inquiry. The janitor 
would simply clean up the mess 
in the morning and the room would 
be marked vacant. 

The door was impassable. The 
only chance Blaine could see was 
to jump over the bed and through 
the closed window. If he made 
the leap properly, he would fall 
against the waist-high fire escape 
railing outside. If he jumped too 
hard, he would go right over the 
railing and fall three stories to the 
street. 

The chair beat him across the 
shoulders, and the bed rumbled 
forward to pin him against the 
wall. Blaine made a quick calcu- 



lation of angles and distances, 

- 

drew himself together and flung 
himself at the window. 

He hit squarely — but he had 
reckoned without the advances of 
modern science. The window bent 
outward like a sheet of rubber, 
then snapped back into place. He 
was thrown against a wall and 
fell dazed to the floor. Looking up, 
he saw a heavy bureau wobble 
toward him and slowly tilt. 

As the poltergeist threw its luna- 
tic strength against the bureau, the 
unwatched door swung open. Smith 
entered the room, his thick-fea- 
tured zombie face impassive, and 
deflected the falling bureau with 
his shoulder. 

"Come with me," he said. 

Blaine asked no questions. He 
scrambled to his feet and grabbed 
the edge of the closing door. With 
Smith's help, he pulled it open 
again and the two men slipped out. 
From within the room, he heard 
a shriek of baffled rage. 

Smith hurried down the hall, 
one cold hand clasped around 
Blaine's wrist. They went down- 
stairs, through the hotel lobby and 
into the street. The zombie's face 
was leaden white except for the 
purple bruise where Blaine had 
once struck him. The bruise had 
spread across nearly half his face, 
piebalding it into a Harlequin's 
grotesque mask. 

"Where are we going?" Blaine 
asked. 



TIME KILLER 



107 






"To a safe place," said Smith. 

They reached an ancient un- 
used subway entrance, and de- 
scended. One flight down, they 
came to a small iron door set in 
the cracked concrete wall. Smith 
opened the door and beckoned 
Blaine to follow him. 

Blaine hesitated, caught the hint 
of high-pitched laughter. The pol- 
tergeist was pursuing him, as the 
Eumenides had once pursued their 
victims through the streets of an- 
cient Athens. He could stay in the 
lighted upper world if he wished, 

* 

hag-ridden by an insane spirit. Or 
he could descend with Smith, 
through the iron door and into the 
darkness beyond it, to some un- 
certain destiny in the underworld. 
The shrill laughter increased. 
Blaine hesitated no longer. He fol- 
lowed Smith through the iron door 
and closed it behind him. 



"Can you?" 
"Spirits aren't 



invulnerable. 



Tj 1 OR the moment, the polter- 
■*■ geist had not chosen to pursue. 
They walked down a tunnel 
lighted by an occasional naked 
light bulb, past cracked masonry 
pipes and the looming gray corpse 
of a subway train, past rusted iron 
cables lying in giant serpent coils. 
The air was moist and rank, and 
a thin slime underfoot made walk- 
ing treacherous. 

"Where are we going?" Blaine 
asked. 

"To where I can protect you 
from ghost attacks," Smith said. 



Exorcism is possible if the true 
identity of the ghost is known." 

"Then you know who is haunt- 
ing me?" 

"I think so. There's only one 
person it logically could be." 

"Who?" 

Smith shook his head. "I'd 
rather not mention his name yet. 
No sense calling him if he's not 
here." 

They descended a series of 
crumbling shale steps into a wider 
chamber, and circled the edge of 
a small black pond whose surface 
looked as hard and still as jet. 
On the other side of the pond was 
a passageway. A man stood in 
front of it, blocking the way. 

He was a tall, husky Negro, 
dressed in rags, armed with a 
length of iron pipe. From his look, 
Blaine knew he was a zombie. 

"This is my friend," Smith said. 
"May I bring him through?" 

"You sure he's no inspector?" 

"Absolutely sure." 

"Wait here," the Negro said. He 
disappeared into the passageway. 

"Where are we?" asked Blaine. 

"Underneath New York, in a 
series of unused subway tunnels, 
old sewer conduits, and some pas- . 
sageways we've fashioned for our- 
selves." 

"But why did we come here?" 

"Where else would we go?" 
Smith asked, surprised. "This is 



108 



GALAXY 



my home. 

You're in 
colony." 



Didn't you 
New York's 



know? 
zombie 



T> LAINE didn't consider a zom- 
-*-* bie colony much improve- 
ment over a ghost; but he didn't 
have time to think about it. The 
Negro returned. With him was a 
very old man who walked with 
the aid of a stick. The old man's 
face was broken into a network of 
a thousand lines and wrinkles. His 
eyes barely showed through the 
fine scrollwork of sagging flesh and 
even his lips were wrinkled. 

"This is the man you told me 
about?" he inquired reedily. 

"Yes, sir," said Smith. "This is 
the man. Blaine, let me introduce 

you to Mr. Kean, the leader of our 
colony. May I take him through, 
sir?" 

"You may," the old man said. 
"And I will accompany you for 

i 

a while." 

They started down the passage- 
way, Mr. Kean supporting him- 
self heavily on the Negro's arm. 

"In the usual course of events," 
said Mr. Kean, "only zombies are 
allowed in the colony. All others 
are barred. But it has been years 
since I spoke with a normal and 
I thought the experience might be 
valuable. Therefore, at Smith's 
earnest request, I made an ex- 
ception in your case." 

I'm very grateful," Blaine said, 
hoping he had reason to be. 

TIME KILLER 



«T». 



"Don't misunderstand me. I am 
not averse to helping you. But 
first and foremost I am responsible 
for the safety of the eleven hun- 
dred zombies living beneath New 
York. For their sake, normals must 
be kept out. Isolation is our only 
hope in an ignorant world." Mr. 
Kean paused. "But perhaps you 
can help us, Blaine." 

"How?" 

"By listening and understand- 
ing, and passing on what you have 
learned. Education alone can com- 
bat ignorance. Tell me, what do 

you know about the problems of 
a zombie?" 

"Very little." 

"I will instruct you. Zombieism, 
Mr. Blaine, is a disease which has 
long had a powerful aura of super- 
stition surrounding it, comparable 
to the aura generated by such dis- 
eases as epilepsy, leprosy, or St. 
Vitus' Dance. The spiritualizing 
tendency is a common one. Schizo- 
phrenia, you know, was once 

* 

thought to mean possession by 
devils, and hydrocephalic idiots 
were considered peculiarly blessed. 

Similar fantasies attach to zom- 
bieism." 



r | ^ HEY walked in silence for a 
•*• few moments. Mr. Kean said, 
"The superstition of the zombie is 
essentially Haitian; the disease of 
the zombie is worldwide, although 
rare. But the superstition and the 
disease have become hopelessly 

4 

109 






■' 



confused in the public mind. The 
zombie of superstition is an ele- 
ment of the Haitian vodun cult, a 
human being whose soul has been 
stolen by magic. The zombie's 
body could be used as the magi- 
cian wished, could even be slaugh- 
tered and sold for meat in the mar- 
ketplace. If the zombie ate salt or 
beheld the sea, he realized that he 
was dead and returned to his 
grave. For all this, of course, there 

is no basis in fact. 

"The superstition arose from the 
descriptively similar disease. Once 
it was exceedingly rare. But today, 
with the increase in mind-switch- 
ing and reincarnation techniques, 
zombieism has become more com- 
mon. The disease of the zombie 
occurs when a mind occupies a 
body that has been untenanted too 
long. Mind and body are not then 
one, as yours are, Mr. Blaine. They 
exist, instead, as quasi-independent 
entities engaged in an uneasy co- 
operation. 

"Take our friend Smith as typi- 
cal. He can control his body's 
gross physical actions, but fine co- 
ordination is impossible for him. 
His voice is incapable of discrete 
modulation and his ears do not re- 
ceive subtle differences in tone. 
His face is expressionless, for he 
has little or no control over sur- 
face musculature. He drives his 
body, but is not truly a part of it." 

"And can't anything be done?" 
Blaine asked. 



r 

"At the present time, nothing," 
said Kean. 

"I'm very sorry," Blaine said 
uncomfortably. 

"This is not a plea for your sym- 
pathy," Kean told him. "It is a re- 
quest only for the most elementary 
understanding. I simply want you 
- and everyone to know that zom- 
bieism is not a visitation of sins, 
but a disease, like mumps or can- 
cer, and nothing more." 

Mr. Kean leaned against the 
wall of the passageway to catch 
his breath. "To be sure, the zom- 
bie's appearance is unpleasant. He 
shambles, his wounds never heal, 
he mumbles like an idiot, staggers 
like a drunk, stares like a pervert. 
But is this any reason to make him 
the repository of all guilt and 

shame upon Earth, the leper of 
the 22 nd century? They say that 
zombies attack people; yet his 
body is fragile in the extreme, and 
the average zombie couldn't resist 
even a very young child's deter- 
mined assault. 

"They believe the disease is 
communicable and this is obvious- 
ly not so. They say that zombies 
are sexual monsters, whereas the 
truth is that a zombie experiences 
no sexual feeling whatsoever. But 
people refuse to learn, and zom- 
bies are outcasts fit only for the 
hangman's noose or the lyncher's 
burning stake." 

"What about the authorities?" 
asked Blaine. 



110 



GALAXY 



M 



R. Kean smiled bitterly, came back into focus. The dim 



"They used to lock us up, 
as a kindness, in mental institu- 
tions. You see, they didn't want 
us hurt. Yet zombies are , rarely 
insane and the authorities knew it! 
So now, with their tacit approval, 
we occupy these abandoned sub- 
way tunnels and sewer lines." 

"Couldn't you find a better 
place?" Blaine asked. 

"Frankly, the underground suits 
us. Sunlight is bad for unregenera- 
tive skins." 

They began walking again. 
Blaine said, "What can I do?" 

"You can tell what you learned 
here. Write about it, perhaps. Wid- 
ening ripples . . ." 

"I'll do what I can." 

"Thank you," Mr. Kean said 
gravely. "Education is our one 
hope. Education and the future. 
Surely people will be more en- 
lightened in the future." 

The future? Blaine felt sudden- 
ly dizzy. For this was the future, 
to which he had traveled from the 
idealistic and hopeful 20th cen- 
tury. Now was the future! But the 
promised enlightenment still had 
not come and people were much 
the same as ever. He felt dis- 
oriented and old, older than Kean, 
older than the human race — 
creature in a borrowed body stand- ly lighted room. Upon the arched 
ing in a place it did not know. 

"And now," Mr. Kean said, "we 



passageway had ended. In front 
of him was a rusted iron ladder 
fastened to the tunnel wall, lead- 
ing upward into darkness. 

"Good luck," said Mr. Kean. 
He left, supporting himself heavily 
on the Negro's arm. 

Blaine watched the old man go, 
then turned to Smith. "Where are 
we going?" 

"Up the ladder." 

"But where does it lead?" 

Smith had already begun climb- 
ing. He stopped and looked down, 
his lead-colored lips drawn back 
into a grin. "We're going to visit 
a friend of yours, Blaine. We're 
going into his tomb, up to his cof- 
fin, and ask him to stop haunting 
you. Force him, maybe." 

"A friend of mine?" Blaine re- 
peated worriedly. "Who is he?" 

Smith only grinned and con- 
tinued climbing. Blaine mounted 
the ladder behind him. 



18. 



1 BOVE the passageway was a 
-^*- ventilation shaft, which led 
to another passageway. They 
came at last to a door and went 



in. 



They were in a large, brilliant- 



have reached your destination." 



ceiling was a mural depicting a 
handsome, clear-eyed man enter- 
ing a gauzy blue heaven in the 



Blaine blinked rapidly and life company of angels. Blaine knew 



TIME KILLER 



111 






at once who had sat for the paint- filled with just anybody. They 

think that, by suitable rites and 
symbols, they can get into a more 
exclusive part of the hereafter." 

"Is there a more exclusive 
part?" 

"No one knows. As I said, Reilly 
was taking no chances." 

Smith led him across the room 
to an ornate door covered with 
Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chi- 
nese ideographs. 

"Reilly's body is inside here," 
Smith said. 

"And we're going in?" 

"We have to." 



ing. 

"Reilly!" 

Smith nodded. "We're inside his 
Palace of Death." 

"How did you know Reilly was 
haunting me?" 

"Only two people connected 
with you have died recently. The 
ghost certainly was not Ray Mel- 
hill. It had to be Reilly." 

"But why?" 

"I don't know," Smith said. 
"Perhaps Reilly will tell you him- 
self." 

Blaine looked at the walls. They 
were inlaid with crosses, crescent 
moons, stars and swastikas, as well 
as Indian, African, Arabian, Chi- 
nese and Polynesian good-luck 
signs. On pedestals around the 

room were statues of ancient dei- 
ties. Among the dozens, Blaine 
recognized Zeus, Apollo, Dam- 
balla, Odin and Astarte. In front 
of each pedestal was an altar, and 
on each altar was a cut and pol- 
ished jewel. 

"What's that for?" Blaine asked. 

"Propitiation." 

"But life after death is a scien- 
tific fact." 

"Mr. Kean maintains that sci- 
ence has little effect upon super- 
stition," Smith said. "Reilly was 
fairly sure he'd survive after death, 
but he saw no reason to take 
chances. Also, Mr. Kean says that 
the very rich, like the very re- 
ligious, wouldn't enjoy a hereafter 



SMITH pushed the door open. 
Blaine saw a vast marble-pil- 
lared room. In its very center was 
a bronze and gold coffin inlaid with 
jewels. Surrounding the coffin was 
a great and bewildering quantity 
of goods — paintings and sculp- 
tures, musical instruments, carv- 
ings, objects like washing ma- 
chines, stoves, refrigerators, even a 
complete helicopter. There were 
clothing and books, and a lavish 
banquet had been laid out. 

"What's all this stuff for?" 
Blaine asked. 

"The essence of these goods is 
intended to accompany the owner 
into the hereafter. It's an old 
belief." 

"And that?" Blaine pointed to 
a high marble altar in a corner of 
the room. Upon the altar's broad 
surface was a mound of gray 



112 



GALAXY 



1- 



r 



- 

ashes and a few charred bones. 

"Thaf s where the Rex Corpora- 
tion officials make the weekly 
burnt offerings to Reilly." 

"Why do they bother?" 

"It's the only way they can pay 
Reilly's ghost for looking into the 
future and advising the corpora- 
tion on business matters. The burnt 
offerings are supposed to confer 
special mana — power — on the 
spirit and help free him from the 
Wheel of Things. With no sacri- 
fices, Reilly would fear being 
pulled back into a descending or- 
der of reincarnation and being re- 
born as a toad, perhaps, or a pig. 
The doctrine of the transmigration 
of souls is firmly believed among 
the rich." 

Blaine's first reaction was one 
of pity. The scientific hereafter 
hadn't freed men from the fear 
of death, as it should have done. 
On the contrary, it had intensified 
their uncertainties and stimulated 
their competitive drive. 

Given the surety of an after- 
life, man wanted to improve upon 
it, to enjoy a better heaven than 
anyone else. Equality was all very 
well, but individual initiative came 
first. A perfect and passionless 
leveling was no more palatable an 
idea in the hereafter than it was 
on Earth. The desire to surpass 
caused a man like Reilly to build 
a tomb like the Pharaohs of an- 
cient Egypt, to brood all his life 
about death, to live continually 



trying to find ways of preserving 
his property and status in the gray 
uncertainties ahead. 

A shame. And yet, Blaine 
thought, wasn't his pity based 
upon a lack of belief in the effi- 
cacy of Reilly's measures? Sup- 
pose you could improve your situ- 
ation in the hereafter? In that case, 
what better way to spend one's 
time on Earth than working for a 
better eternity? 

The proposition seemed reason- 
able, but Blaine refused to be- 
lieve it. That couldn't be the only 
reason for existence on Earth! 
Good or bad, fair or foul, the thing 
had to be lived for its own sake. 



A S Smith walked slowly into 
^"^ the coffin room, Blaine 
stopped his speculations. The zom- 
bie stood contemplating a small 
table covered with ornaments. Dis- 
passionately, he kicked the table 
over. Then slowly, one by one, he 
ground the delicate ornaments 
into the polished marble floor. 

"What are you doing?" Blaine 
gasped. 

"You want the poltergeist to 
leave you alone, don't you?" 

"Of course." 

"Then he must have some 
reason for leaving you alone," 
Smith said, kicking over an elab- 
orate ebony sculpture. 

It seemed reasonable enough to 
Blaine. Even a ghost must know 
he will eventually leave the 



TIME KILLER 



113 



Threshold and enter the hereafter. 
When he does, he wants his goods 
waiting for him, intact. There- 
fore fight fire with fire, persecution 
with persecution. 

Still, he felt like a vandal when 
he picked up an oil painting and 
prepared to shove his fist through 
it. 

"Don't!" ordered a voice above 
his head. 




LAINE and Smith looked up. 
Above them there seemed to 
be a faint silvery mist. From the 
mist, an attenuated voice said, 
"Please put down the painting." 

Blaine held onto it, his fist 
poised. "Are you Reilly?" A 

"Yes." 

"Why are you haunting me?" 

"Because you're responsible! 
Everything's your fault! You 
killed me with your evil murder- 
ing mind! Yes, you, you hideous 
thing from the past, you damned 
monster!" 

"I didn't!" Blaine cried. 

"You did! You aren't human! 
You aren't natural! Everything 
shuns you except your friend the 
dead man! Why aren't you dead, 
murderer!" 

Blaine's fist moved toward the 
painting. The thin voice screamed, 
"Don't!" 

"Will you leave me alone?" 
Blaine persisted. 

"Put down the painting," Reilly 
begged. 



Blaine put it carefully down. 

"I'll leave you alone," Reilly 
promised. "Why shouldn't I? 
There are things you can't see, 
Blaine, but I see them. Your time 
on Earth will be short, very short, 
painfully short. Those you trust 
will betray you; those you hate 
will conquer you. You will die, 
Blaine, not in years but sooner 
than you could believe. You'll be 
betrayed and you'll die by your 
own hand." 

"You're crazy!" Blaine fright- 
enedly shouted. 

"Am I?" Reilly cackled. "Am 
I? Am I?" 

The ^silvery mist vanished. Reil- 
ly was gone. 

Smith led him back through 
narrow winding passageways to 
the street level. Outside, the air 
was chilly and dawn had touched 
the tall buildings with red and 
gray. 

Blaine started to thank him, 
but Smith shook his head. "No 
reason for thanks. After all, I need 
you, Blaine. Where would I be 
if the poltergeist killed you? Take 
care of yourself, be careful. 
Nothing is possible for me without 



?* 



you. 

The zombie gazed anxiously at 
him for a moment, then hurried 
away. 

Blaine watched him go, won- 
dering if it wouldn't be better to 
have a dozen enemies than Smith 
for a friend. 



114 



GALAXY 



19. 



T ESS than an hour later, he was 

■" at Marie Thome's apartment. 
Marie, without makeup, dressed 
in a housecoat, blinked sleepily 
and led him to the kitchen, where 
she dialed coffee, toast and scram- 
bled eggs. 

"I wish," she said, "you'd make 
your dramatic appearances at a 
decent hour. It's six-thirty in the 
morning." 

"I'll try to do better in the fu- 
ture," Blaine replied cheerfully. 

"You said you'd call. What hap- 
pened to you?" 

"Did you worry?" 

"Not in the least. What hap- 
pened?" 

Between bites of toast, Blaine 
told her about the hunt, the haunt- 
ing, and the exorcism. She listened 
to it all, then said, "So you're ob- 
viously very proud of yourself, 
and I guess you should be. But 
you still don't know what Smith 
wants from you, or even who he 
is." 

"Haven't the slightest idea," 
Blaine said. "Smith doesn't, either. 



Frankly, I couldn't care less." 

"What happens when he finds 
out?" 



«T) 



I'll worry about that when it 
happens." 

Marie raised both eyebrows but 
made no comment. "Tom, what 
are your plans now?" 

"I'm going to get a job." 



"As a hunter?" 

"No. Logical or not, I'm going 

■ 

to try the yacht design agencies. 
Then I'm going to come around 
here and bother you at reason- 
able hours. How does that sound?" 

"Impractical. Do you want some 
good advice?" 

"No." 

"I'm giving it to you anyhow. 
Tom, get out of New York. Go 
as far away as you can. Go to 
Fiji or Samoa." 

"Why should I?" 

Marie began to walk restlessly 
around the kitchen. "You simply 
don't understand this world." 

"I think I do." 

"No! You've had a few typical 
experiences, Tom — that's all. But 
that doesn't mean you've assimi- 
lated our culture. You've been 
snatched, haunted, and you've 
gone on a hunt. But it adds up to 
not much more' than a guided tour. 
Reilly was right — you're as lost 
and helpless as a caveman would 
be in your own 1958." 

"That's ridiculous and I object 
to the comparison." 

"All right, let's make it a 14th- 
century Chinese. Suppose this hy- 
pothetical Chinese had met a 
gangster, gone on a bus ride and 
seen Coney Island. Would you say 
he understood 20th-century Amer- 



ica: 



?» 



"Of course not. But what's the 
point?" 

"The point," she said, "is that 



TIME KILLER 



115 



you aren't safe here, and you 
can't even sense what or where 
or how urgent the dangers are. 
For one, that damned Smith is 
after you. Next, Reilly's heirs 
might not take kindly to you dese- 
crating his tomb; they might find it 
necessary to do something about 
it. And the directors at Rex are 
still arguing about what they 

should do about you. You've al- 
tered things, changed things, dis- 
rupted things. Can't you feel it?" 

"I can handle Smith," Blaine 
said confidently. "To hell with 
Reilly's heirs. As for the directors, 
what can they do to me?" 

"Tom," she told him earnestly, 
"any man born here who found 
himself in your shoes would run 
as fast as he could!" 



H 



E was in no mood for warn- 
ings. He had survived the dan- 
gers of the hunt, had passed through 
the iron door into the underworld 
and won through again to the light. 
Now, sitting in Marie's sunny 
kitchen, he felt elated and at 
peace with the world. Danger 
seemed an academic problem not 
worthy of discussion at the mo- 
ment, and the idea of running away 
from New York was absurd. 

"Tell me," Blaine said lightly, 
"among the things I've disrupted 
—is one of them you?" 
: "I'm probably going to lose my 
job, if that's what you mean." 

"That's not what I mean." 



"Then let's not discuss it. Will 
you get out of New York?" 

"No. And please stop sounding 
so panicky." 

"Oh, Lord," she sighed, "we talk 
the same language, but I'm not 
getting through. You don't under- 
stand. Let me try an example." 
She thought for a moment. "Sup- 
pose a man owned a sailboat—" 

"Do you sail? Blaine asked. 

"Yes, I love sailing. Tom, listen 
to me! Suppose a man owned a 
sailboat in which he was planning 
an ocean voyage—" 

"Across the sea of life," Blaine 
filled in. 

"You're not funny," she said, 
looking very pretty and serious. 
"This man doesn't know anything 
about boats. He sees it floating, 
nicely painted, everything in place. 
He can't imagine any danger. Then 
you look the boat over. You see 
that the frames are cracked, 
teredos have gotten into the rud- 
der post, there's dry rot in the 
mast, the sails are mildewed, the 
keel bolts are rusted, and the 
fastenings are ready to let go." 

"Where'd you learn so much 
about boats?" 

"I've been sailing since I was 
a kid. Will you please pay atten- 
tion? You tell that man his boat 
is not seaworthy; the first gale is 
likely to sink him." 

"We'll have to go sailing some- 
time," Blaine said. 

"But this man," Marie continued 



116 



GALAXY 



doggedly, "doesn't know anything 
about boats. The thing looks all 
right. And the worst of it is you 
can't tell him exactly what is go- 
ing to happen, or when. Maybe the 
boat will hold together for a 
month, or a year, or maybe only 
a week. Maybe the keel bolts will 
go first, or perhaps it'll be the mast. 
You just don't know. And that's 
the situation here. I can't tell you 
what's going to happen or when. 
I just know you're unseaworthy. 
You must get out of here!" 

She looked at him hopefully. 

Blaine nodded and said, "You'll 
make one hell of a crew." 

"So you're not going?" 
No. I've been up all night. The 
only place I'm going now is to 
bed. Would you care to join me?" 

"Go to hell!" 

"Darling, please! Where's your 
pity for a homeless wanderer from 
the past?" 

"I'm going out," she said. "Help 
yourself to the bedroom. But you'd 
better think about what I told 
you." 

"Sure," said Blaine. "But why 
should I worry when I have you 
looking out for me?" 

"Smith's looking out for you, 
too," she said, and left the kitchen. 



u 




LAINE finished his breakfast 
and turned in. He awoke in 
the early afternoon. Marie still 
hadn't returned, so before leaving 
he wrote her a cheerful note with 



the address of his hotel. 

During the next few days, he 

■ 

visited most of the yacht design 
agencies in New York, without 
success. His old firm, Mattison 
85 Peters, was long defunct. The 
other firms weren't interested. 
Finally, at Jaakobsen Yachts, Ltd., 
the head designer questioned him 

1 • 

closely about the now-extinct 
Chesapeake Bay and Bahamas 
work boats. Blaine demonstrated 
his considerable knowledge of the 
types, as well as his out-of-date 

f ■ 

draftsmanship. , 

"We get some calls for antique 
and exotic boats," the head design- 
er said. "There are always people 
who want to sail something dif- 
ferent from what their neighbor's 

got. We've turned out luggers, 
proas, sailing barges, junks, dhows, 
brigs, barks, and so forth. Some 
Chesapeake skipjacks and bug- 
eyes might go very well right now, 
and some of those 20th-century 
Bahamas jobs with the baggy 
sails. Hm. Tell you what. We'll 
hire you as office boy. You can do 
20th-century hulls on a commis- 
sion basis and study up on your 
designing, which, frankly, is old- 
fashioned. When you're ready, 
we'll upgrade you. What do you 
say?" 

It was an inferior position, but 
it was a job, a legitimate job, with 
a fine chance for advancement. It 
meant that at least he had a real 
place in the world of 2110. 



TIME KILLER 



117 






'Til take it," Blaine said, "with 
thanks." 

That evening, by way of cele- 
bration, he went to a Sensory 
Shop to buy a player and a few 
recordings. He was entitled, he 
thought, to a little basic luxury. 

The sensories were an inescap- 
able part of 2110, as omnipresent 
and popular as television had been 
in Blaine's day. Larger and more 
elaborate versions of the sensories 
were used for theater productions, 
and variations were employed for 
advertising and propaganda. They 
were, to date, the purest and most 
powerful form of the ready-made 
dream, tailored to fit anyone. 

But they had their extremely 
vocal opponents, who deplored the 
ominous trend toward complete 
passivity in the spectator. These 
critics were disturbed by the ex- 
cessive ease with which a person 
could assimilate a sensory; and, 
in truth, many a housewife walked 
blank-eyed through her days, a 
modern-day mystic plugged into 
a continual bright vision. 

In reading a book or watching 
television, the critics pointed out, 
the viewer had to exert himself, 
to participate. But the sensories 
merely swept over you, vivid, bril- 
liant, insidious, and left behind 
the damaging schizophrenic im- 
pression that dreams were better 
and more desirable than life. Such 
an impression could not be al- 
lowed, even if it were true. Sen- 



• 9 



sories were vicious, dangerous! 

To be sure, some valid artistic 
work was done in the sensory 
form. (One could not discount 
Verreho, Johnston or Telkin, and 
Blue Fox showed promise). But 
there was not much good work. 
And weighed against the damaging 
psychic effects, the lowering of 
popular taste, the drift toward 
complete passivity . . . 

In another generation, the critics 
thundered, people will be incap- 

i 

able of reading, thinking or act- 
ing! 

It was a strong argument. But 
Blaine, with his 152 years of per- 
spective, remembered the same 
sort of arguments hurled at radio, 
movies, comic books, television and 
paperbacks. Even the revered 
novel had once been bitterly 
chastised for its deviation from the 
standards of pure literature. Every 
innovation seemed culturally de- 
structive, and became, ultimately, 
a cultural staple, the embodiment 
of the good old days, the spirit of 
the Golden Age— to be threatened 
and finally destroyed by the next 
innovation. 

The sensories, good or bad, were 
here. Blaine entered the store to 
partake of them. 

A FTER looking over various 
-£*• models, he bought a medium- 
priced Bendix player. Then, with 
the clerk's aid, he chose three pop- 
ular recordings and took them into 



118 



GALAXY 



a booth to play. Fastening the 
electrodes to his forehead, he 
turned the first one on. 

It was a popular historical, a 
highly romantic rendition of the 
Chanson de Roland, tloneina low- 
intensity non-identification tech- 
nique that allowed large battle 
effects and massed movements. 
The dream began. 

. . . and Blaine was in the pass 
of Roncesvalles on that hot and 
fateful August morning in 778, 
standing with Roland's rear guard, 
watching the main body of Charle- 
magne's army wind slowly on 
toward Frankland. The tired vet- 
erans slumped in their high-can- 
tied saddles; leather creaked, spurs 
jingled against bronze stirrup- 
guards. There was a smell of pine 
and sweat in the air, a hint of 
smoke from razed Pampelona, a 
taste of oiled steel and dry sum- 
mer grass . . . 

Blaine decided to buy it. The 
next was a high-intensity chase on 
Venus, in which the viewer iden- 
tified fully with the hunted but in- 
nocent man. The last was a vari- 
able-intensity recording of War 
and Peace, with occasional iden- 
tification sections. 

As he paid for his purchases, 
the clerk winked at him and said, 
"Interested in the real stuff?" 

"Maybe," Blaine said. 

"I got some great party records," 
the clerk told him. "Full iden- 



Got a genuine horror piece — man 
dying in quicksand. The murderers 
recorded his death for the special- 
ty trade." 

"Perhaps some other time." 

"And also," the clerk rushed on, 
"I got a special recording, legiti- 
mately made but withheld from 
the public. A few copies are being 

9 

bootlegged around. Man reborn 
from the past. Absolutely genuine." 

"Really?" 

"Yes, it's perfectly unique. The 
emotions come through clear as a 
bell, sharp as a knife. A collector's 
item. I predict it'll become a 
classic." 

"That I'd like to hear," Blaine 
said grimly. 

He took the unlabeled record 
back to the booth. In ten minutes, 
he came out again, somewhat 
shaken, and purchased it for an 
exorbitant price. It was like buy- 
ing a piece of himself. 

The clerk and the Rex techni- 
cians were right. It was a real col- 
lector's item and would probably 
become a classic. 

Unfortunately, all names had 
been carefully erased to prevent 
the police from tracing its source. 
He was famous — but in a com- 
pletely anonymous fashion. 



20. 



LAINE went to his job every 
day, swept the floor, emptied 
tification, with switches yet. No? the wastepaper baskets, addressed 




TIME KILLER 



119 







mm m 




J : :^ : W >>&5iW 







j^m 



■ 



.» *.*» 



< 



envelopes and did a few antique 
hulls on commission. In the even- 
ings, he studied the complex sci- 
ence of advanced 22nd-century 
yacht design. 



After a while, he was given a few 
small assignments writing publici- 
ty releases. He proved talented at 
this and was soon promoted to the 
position of junior yacht designer. 



120 






GALAXY 







iillis 






(. 






He began handling much of the 
liaison between Jaakobsen Yachts, 
Ltd., and the various yards build- 
ing to their designs. 

He continued to study, but there 



were few requests for classic hulls. 
The Jaakobsen brothers handled 
most of the stock boats, while old 
Ed Richter, known as the Marvel 
of Salem, drew up the unusual 



TIME KILLER 



121 






racers and multi-hulls. Blaine took 
over publicity and advertising and 
had no time for anything else. 

It was responsible, necessary 
work. But it was not yacht design- 
ing. Irrevocably, his life in 2110 
was falling into much the same 
pattern it had assumed in 1958. 

Blaine pondered this carefully. 
On the one hand, he was happy 
about it. It seemed to settle, once 
and for all, the conflict between 
his mind and his borrowed body. 
Obviously his mind was boss. 

On the other hand, the situa- 
tion didn't speak too well for the 
quality of that mind. Here was a 
man who had traveled 152 years 
into the future, had passed through 
wonders and horrors, and was 
working again, with a weary and 
terrible inevitability, as a junior 
yacht designer who did everything 
but design yachts. Was there some 
fatal flaw in his character, some 
hidden defect which doomed him 
to inferiority no matter what his 
environment? 

* 

"Moodily, he pictured himself 
flung back a million or so years, 
to a caveman era. Doubtless, after 
a period of initial adjustment, he 
would become a junior designer of 
dugouts. Only not really a design- 
er. His job would be to count the 
wampum, check the quality of the 
tree trunks and contract for out- 
riggers, while some other fellow 
(probably a Neanderthal genius) 
did the actual designing. 



It was disheartening. But fortu- 
nately it was not the only way of 
viewing the matter. His inevitable 
return could also be taken as a 
fine example of personal solidarity, 
of internal steadfastness. He was 
a man who knew what he was. No 
matter how his environment 
changed, he remained true to his 
function. 

Viewed this way, he could be 
very proud of being eternally and 
forever a junior yacht designer. 

He continued working, fluctuat- 
ing between these two basic views 
of himself. Once or twice he saw 
Marie, but she was usually busy 
in the high councils of the Rex 
Corporation. He moved out of his 

hotel and into a small, tastefully 
furnished apartment. New York 
was beginning to feel like home 
to him. 

And, he remined himself, if he 
had gained nothing else, he had 
at least settled his mind-body 
problem. 

But his body was not to be dis- 
regarded so lightly. Blaine had 
overlooked one of the problems 
likely to exist with the ownership 
of a strong, handsome and highly 
idiosyncratic body such as his. 

One day the conflict flared 
again, more aggravated than ever. 



H 



E had left work at the usual 
time and was waiting at a 
corner for his helibus. He noticed 
a woman staring intently at him. 



122 



GALAXY 






She was perhaps twenty-five years 
old, a buxom, attractive redhead. 
She was commonly dressed. Her 
features were bold, yet they had 
a certain wistful quality. 

Blaine realized that he had seen 
her before but never really noticed 
her. Now that he thought about it, 
she had once ridden a bus with 
him. Once she had entered a store 
nearly on his heels. And several 
times she had been passing his 
building when he left work. 

She had been watching him, 
probably for weeks. But why? 

The woman hesitated a moment, 
then said, "Could I talk to you a 
moment?" Her voice was husky, 
pleasant, but very nervous. "Please, 
Mr. Blaine, it's terribly important." 

So she knew his name. "Sure," 
Blaine said. "What is it?" 

"Not here. Could we— uh— go 
somewhere?" 

Blaine grinned and shook his 
head. She seemed harmless enough, 
but so had Carl Ore. Trusting 
strangers in this world was a good 
way of losing your mind, your 
body, or both. 

"I don't know you," Blaine said, 
"and I don't know where you 
learned my name. Whatever you 
want, you'd better tell me here." 

"I really shouldn't be bother- 
ing you," the woman said in a 
discouraged voice. "But I couldn't 
stop myself; I had to talk to you. 
I get so lonely sometimes. You 
know how it is?" 



"Lonely? Sure, but why do you 
want to talk to me?" 

She looked at him sadly. "That's 

right, you don't know." 

"No, I don't," Blaine said pa- 
tiently. "Why?" 

"Can't we go somewhere? I 
don't like to say it in public like 
this." 

"You'll have to," said Blaine, be- 
ginning to think that this was a 
very complicated game indeed. 

"Oh, all right," the woman 
said, visibly embarrased. "I've been 
following you around for a long 
time, Mr. Blaine. I found out your 
name and where you worked. I 
had to talk to you. It's all on ac- 
count of that body of yours." 

"What?" 

"Your body," she repeated, not 
looking at him. "You see, it used 
to be my husband's body before he 
sold it to the Rex Corporation." 

Blaine's mouth opened, but he 
could find no adequate words. 



21. 



TJLAINE had always known 
-*-* that his body had lived its 
own life in the world before it had 
been given to him. It had acted, 
decided, loved, hated, made its 
own individual imprint upon so- 
ciety and woven its own complex 
and lasting web of relationships. 
He could even have assumed that 
it had been married; most host 
bodies were. But he had preferred 



TIME KILLER 



123 



not thinking about it. He had let 
himself believe that everything 
concerning the previous owner 
had conveniently disappeared. 

His own meeting with Ray Mel- 
hill's snatched body should have 
shown him how naive that attitude 
was. Now, like it or not, he had to 
think about it. 

They went to Blaine's apart- 
ment. The woman, Alice Kranch, 

sat dejectedly on one side of his 

couch and accepted a cigarette. 

"The way it was," she said, 
"Frank — that was my husband's 
name, Frank Kranch — he was 
never satisfied with things, you 
know? He had a good job as a 
hunter, but he was never satisfied." 

"A hunter?" 

"Yes, he was a spearman in the 
China game." 

t 

"Mmm," Blaine said, wondering 
again what had induced him to go 
on his own hunt, his needs or 

Kranch's dormant reflexes? It was 
annoying to have this mind-body 
problem come up again just when 
it had seemed so nicely settled. 

"But he wasn't ever satisfied," 
Alice Kranch said. "And it used 
to make him sore, those fancy rich 
guys getting themselves killed and 
going to the hereafter. He always 
hated the idea of dying like a dog." 

"I don't blame him," Blaine 
said. 

She shrugged her shoulders. 
"What can you do? Frank didn't 
have a chance of making enough 



money for hereafter insurance. It 
bothered him. And then he got 
that big wound on the shoulder 
that nearly put him under. I sup- 
pose you still got the scar?" 

Blaine nodded. 

"Well, he wasn't ever the same 

I 

after that. Hunters usually don't 
think much about death, but Frank 
started to. He started thinking 
about it all the time. And then he 
met this dame from Rex." 

"Marie Thorne?" 

"That's the one," Alice said. 
"She was a skinny dame, hard as 
nails and cold as a fish. I couldn't 
understand what Frank saw in 
her. Oh, he played around some; 
most hunters do. It's on account 
of the danger. But there's playing 
around and there's playing around. 
Him and this fancy Rex dame 
were thick as thieves. I just 
couldn't see what Frank saw in 
her. I mean she was so skinny, 
and so tight-faced. She was pretty 
in a pinched sort of way, but she 
looked like she'd wear her clothes 
to bed, if you know what I mean." 

Blaine nodded again, this time 
a little painfully. "Go on." 

"Well, there's no accounting for 
some tastes, but I thought I knew 
Frank's. And I guess I did because 
it turned out he wasn't going with 
her. It was strictly business. It 
even turned out they'd known 
each other when they were kids at 
school and she was trying to do 
him a favor." 



124 



GALAXY 



H 



E blinked rapidly when he 
heard this. He wondered how 
much Marie had helped him for 
himself and how much out of a 
lingering loyalty to Kranch's body. 
Probably a little of both, he de- 
cided. 

"So anyway," Alice went on, 

"Frank turned up one day and 
said to me, 'Baby, I'm leaving 
you. I'm taking that big, long trip 
into the hereafter. There's a nice 
piece of change in it for you, 
too.' " 

She sighed and wiped her eyes. 
"That big idiot had sold his body! 
Rex had given him hereafter in- 
surance and an annuity for me, 
and he was so damned proud of 
himself! Well, I talked myself 
blue in the face trying to get him 
to change his mind. No chance, 
he was going to eat pie in the sky. 

To his way of thinking, his num- 
ber was up anyhow, and the next 
hunt would do him. So off he went. 
He talked to me once from the 
Threshold." 

"Is he still there?" Blaine asked, 
with a prickling sensation at the 
back of his neck. 

"I haven't heard from him in 
over a year," Alice said, "so I guess 
he's gone on to the hereafter. The 
bastard!" 

She cried for a few moments, 
then wiped her eyes with a small 
handkerchief and looked mourn- 
fully at Blaine. "I wasn't going to 
bother you. After all, it was Frank's 



body to sell and it's yours now. I 
don't have any claims on it or you. 
But I get so blue, so lonely." 

"I can imagine," Blaine mur- 
mured, thinking that she was defi- 
nitely not his type. Objectively 
speaking, she was pretty enough. 
Comely but overblown. Her fea- 
tures were well-formed, bold, 
vividly colored. Her hair, although 
obviously not a natural red, was 
shoulder length and of a smooth 
texture. She was the sort of woman 
he could picture, hands on hips, 
arguing with a policeman, haul- 
ing in a fishnet, dancing to a 
flamenco guitar, or herding goats 
on a mountain path with a full 
skirt swishing around ample hips 
and peasant blouse distended. 

But she was not to his taste. 

However, he reminded himself, 
Frank Kranch had found her very 
much to his taste. And he was 
wearing Kranch's body. 

"Most of our friends," Alice was 
saying, "were hunters in the China 
game. Oh, they dropped around 
sometimes after Frank left. But 
you know hunters; they've got just 
one thing on their minds." 

"Is that a fact?" said Blaine 
uneasily. 

"Yes. And so I moved out of 
Peking and came back to New 
York, where I was born. And 
then one day I saw Frank — I 
mean you. I could have fainted on 
the spot. I mean I might have 
expected it and all, but still it 



TIME KILLER 



125 



gives you a turn to see your hus- 
band's body walking around." 



arr 



"I should think so," Blaine 
agreed. 

"So I followed you. I wasn't 
ever going to bother you or any- 
thing, but it just kept bothering 
me all the time. And I sort of 
got to wondering what kind of a 
man was ... I mean Frank was 
so — well, he and I got along very 
well, if you know what I mean." 

"Certainly," Blaine said. 

Til bet you think I'm terrible!" 

"Not at all!" said Blaine. 

She looked him full in the face, 
her expression mournful and co- 
quettish. Blaine felt Kranch's old 
scar throb. 

But remember, he told himself, 
Kranch is gone. Everything is 
Blaine now, Blaine's will, Blaine's 
way, Blaine's taste ... 

Isn't it? 

This problem must be settled, 
he thought, seizing the willing 
Alice and kissing her with an un- 
Blainelike fervor. 




N the morning, Alice made 
breakfast. Blaine sat staring 
out his window, thinking dismal 
thoughts. 

Last night had proven to him 
conclusively that Kranch was still 
king of the Kranch-Blaine body- 
mind. For last night he had been 
completely unlike himself. He had 
been fierce, violent, rough, angry 
and exultant. He had been all the 



things he had always deplored, 
had acted with an abandon that 
unnerved him to remember. 

That was not Blaine. That was 
Kranch, the Body Triumphant. 

Blaine had always prized deli- 
cacy, subtlety, the grasp of nuance. 
Too much, perhaps. Yet those had 
been his virtues, the expressions 
of his own individual personality. 
With them, he was Thomas Blaine. 
Without them, he was less than 
nothing — a shadow cast by the 
eternally triumphant Kranch. 

Gloomily, he contemplated the 
future. He would give up the strug- 
gle, become what his body de- 
manded — a fighter, a brawler, a 
lusty vagabond. Perhaps, in time, 
he would grow used to it, even 

enjoy it . . . 

"Breakfast's ready," Alice an- 
nounced. 

They ate in silence and Alice 
moodily fingered a bruise on her 
forearm. At last Blaine could 
stand it no longer. 

"Look," he said, "I'm sorry." 

"What for?" 

"Everything." 

She smiled wanly. "That's all 
right. It was my fault, really." 

"I doubt that. Pass the butter, 
please." 

She passed the butter. They 
ate in silence for a few minutes. 
Then Alice said, "I was very, very 

stupid." 
"Why?" 
"I guess I was chasing a dream," 



126 



GALAXY 



she said. "I thought I could find 
Frank all over again. I'm not really 
that' way, Mr. Blaine. But I 
thought it would be like with 
Frank." 

"And wasn't it?" 

She shook her head. "No, of 
course not." 

Blaine put down his coffee cup 
carefully. He said, "I suppose 
Kranch was rougher. I suppose he 
batted you from wall to wall. I 
suppose—" 

"Oh, no!" she cried. "Never! 
Mr. Blaine, Frank was a hunter 
and he lived a hard life. But with 
me he was always a perfect gen- 
tleman. He had manners, Frank 
had." 

"He had?" 

"He certainly had! Frank was 
always gentle with me, Mr. Blaine. 
He was — delicate, if you know 
what I mean. Nice. Gentle. He was 
never, never rough. To tell the 
truth, he was the very opposite 
from you, Mr. Blaine." 

"Uh," said Blaine. 

"Not that there's anything 
wrong with you," she said with 
hasty kindness. "You are a little 
rough, but I guess it takes all 
kinds." 

"I guess it does," Blaine said. 
"Yes, I guess it sure does." 

They finished their breakfast 
in embarrassed silence. Alice, 
freed of her obsessive dream, left 
for her own apartment immediate- 
ly afterward, with no suggestion 



that they meet again. Blaine sat 

in his big chair, staring out the 
window, thinking. 

So he wasn't like Kranch! 

The sad truth was, he told him- 
self, he had acted as he imagined 
Kranch would have acted in 
similar circumstances. He had con- 
vinced himself that a strong, ac- 
tive, hearty outdoors man would 
necessarily treat a woman like a 
wrestling bear. 

He had acted out a stereotype. 
He would feel even sillier if he 
weren't so relieved at regaining 
his threatened Blaineism. 

He frowned as he remembered 
Alice's description of Marie: Skin- 
ny, hard as nails, cold as a fish. 
More stereotyping. 

But, under the circumstances, 
he could hardly blame Alice. 



22. 




FEW days later, Blaine re- 
received word that a commu- 
nication was waiting for him at the 
Spiritual Switchboard. He went 
there after work and was sent to 
the booth he had used previously. 

Melhill's amplified voice said, 
"Hello, Tom." 

"Hello, Ray. I was wondering 
where you were." 

"I'm still in the Threshold," 
Melhill told him, "but I won't be 
much longer. I gotta go on and 
see what the hereafter is like. 
It pulls at me. But I wanted to 



TIME KILLER 



127 



talk to you again, Tom. I think 
you should watch out for Marie 
Thome." 

"Now, Ray-" 

"I mean it. She's been spending 
all her time at Rex. I don't know 
what's going on there; they got the 
conference rooms shielded against 
psychic invasion. But something's 
brewing over you and she's in the 
middle of it." 

"I'll keep my eyes open," Blaine 
said. 

- 

"Tom, please take my advice. 
Get out of New York. Get out 
fast, while you still have a body, 
and a mind to run it with." 

"I'm staying," said Blaine. 



HP HE next day was Saturday. 
■■■ Blaine lounged in bed late, 
made himself breakfast and called 
Marie. She was out. He decided 
to spend the day relaxing and 
playing his sensory recordings. 

That afternoon, he had two 
callers. 

The first was a gentle, hunch- 
backed old woman dressed in a 
dark, severe uniform. Across her 
army-style cap were the words 

OLD CHURCH. 

"Sir," she said in a slightly 
wheezy voice, "I am soliciting con- 
tributions for the Old Church, an 
organization which seeks to pro- 
mote faith in these dissolute and 



"You stubborn ape," Melhill Godless times." 



said, with deep feeling. "What's 
the use of having a guardian spirit 
if you don't even once take his 
advice?" 

"I appreciate your help," Blaine 
assured him. "I really do. But tell 
me truthfully, how much better off 
would I be if I ran?" 

"You might be able to stay alive 
a little longer." 

"Only a little? Is it really that 
bad?" 

"Bad enough. Tom, remember 
not to trust anybody. I gotta go 
now." 

"Will I speak to you again, 
Ray?" 

"Maybe," Melhill said. "Maybe 
not. Good luck, kid." 

The interview was ended. 
Blaine returned to his apartment. 



"Sorry," said Blaine, and started 
to close the door. 

* 

But the old woman must have 
had many doors closed on her. 
She wedged her foot between door 
and jamb and passionately con- 
tinued talking. 

"This, young sir, is the age of 
the Babylonian Beast and the time 
of the soul's destruction. This is 
Satan's age and the time of his 
seeming triumph. But be not de- 
ceived! The Lord Almighty has al- 
lowed this to come about for a 
trial and a testing, and a win- 
nowing of grain from chaff. Be- 
ware the temptation! Beware the 
path of evil which lies wickedly 
and alluringly before you!" 

Blaine gave her a dollar just 
to shut her up. The old woman 



128 



GALAXY 



thanked him but continued talking. 

"Beware, young sir, that ulti- 
mate lure of Satan — the false 
heaven which men call the here- 
after! For what better snare could 
Satan the Deceiver devise for the 
world of men than this, his great- 
est illusion! The illusion that hell 
is heaven! And men are deceived 
by the cunning deceit and willing- 
ly go down into it!" 

"Thank you," Blaine said, try- 
ing to shut the door. 

"Remember my words!" the old 
woman shrilled, fixing him with 
a glassy blue eye. "The hereafter 
is evil! Beware the prophets of the 
hellish afterlife!" 

"Thank you!" Blaine yelled, and 
managed to close the door. 

He relaxed in his armchair again 
and turned on the player. For 
nearly an hour, he was absorbed 
in Flight on Venus. Then there 
was a knock on his door. 

Blaine opened it and saw a 
short, well-dressed, chubby-faced, 
earnest-looking young man. 

"Mr. Thomas Blaine?" the man 
asked. 

"That's me." 

"Mr. Blaine, I am Charles Far- 
rell, from the Hereafter Corpora- 
tion. Might I speak to you? If it 
is inconvenient now, perhaps we 
could make an appointment for 
some other—" 

"Come in," Blaine said, opening 
the door wide for the prophet of 
the hellish afterlife. 



"C 1 ARRELL was a mild, busi- 
■*■ nesslike, soft-spoken prophet. 
His first move was to give Blaine 
a letter written on Hereafter, Inc., 
stationery, stating that Charles Far- 
rell was a fully authorized repre- 
sentative of the Hereafter Corpora- 
tion. Included in the letter was a 
meticulous description of Farrell, 
his signature, three stamped pho- 
tographs and a set of fingerprints. 

"And here are my identity 
proofs," Farrell said, opening his 
wallet and showing his heli license, 
library card, voter's registration 
certificate and government clear- 
ance card. On a separate piece of 
treated paper, Farrell impressed 
the fingerprints of his right hand 
and gave them to Blaine for com- 
parison with those on the letter. 

"Is all this necessary?" Blaine 
inquired. 

"Absolutely," Farrell told him. 
"We've had some unhappy oc- 
currences in the past. Unscrupu- 
lous operators will try to pass 
themselves as Hereafter represen-, 
tatives among the gullible and the 
poor. They offer salvation at a 
cut rate, take what they can get 
and skip town. Too many people 
have been cheated out of every- 
thing they own and gotten nothing 
in return. For the illegal operators, 
even when they represent some 
little fly-by-night salvation com- 
pany, have none of the expensive 

equipment and trained technicians 
that are needed." 



TIME KILLER 



129 



"I didn't know," Blaine said. 
* Won't you sit down?" 

Farrell took a chair. "The Bet- 
ter Business Bureaus are trying to 
do something about it. But the 
fly-by-nights move too fast to be 
easily caught. Only Hereafter, Inc., 
and two other companies with gov- 
ernment-approved techniques are 
able to deliver what they promise 
- life after death." 

"What about the various men- 

t 

tal disciplines?" asked Blaine. 

"I was purposely excluding 
them," Farrell said. "They're a 
completely difffferent category. If 
you have the patience and deter- 
mination necessary for twenty 
years or so of concentrated study, 
more power to you. If you don't, 
then you need scientific aid and 
implementation. And that's where 
we come in." 

"I'd like to hear about it," Blaine 
said. 

Mr. Farrell settled himself more 
comfortably in his chair. "If you're 
like most people, you probably 
want to know what is life? What 
is death? What is a mind? Where 
is the interaction point between 
mind and body? Is the mind also 
soul? Is the soul also mind? Are 
they independent of each other, 
or interdependent, or intermixed? 
Or is there any such thing as a 
soul?" Farrell smiled. "Are those 
some of the questions you want 
me to answer?" 

Blaine nodded. 



T? ARRELL said, "Well, I can't. 
-*• We simply don't know, haven't 
the slightest idea. As far as we're 
concerned, those are religio-philo- 
sophical questions which Here- 
after, Inc., has no intention of even 
trying to answer. We're interested 
in results, not speculation. Our 
orientation is medical. Our ap- 
proach is pragmatic. We don't care 
how or why we get our results or 
how strange they seem. Do they 
work? That's the only question we 
ask, and that's our basic position." 
"I think you've made it clear," 
Blaine said. 



«T4.r 



It's important for me to do so 
at the start. So let me make one 
more thing clear. Don't make the 
mistake of thinking that we are 

offering heaven." 

"No?" 

"Not at all! Heaven is a relig- 
ious concept and we have nothing 
to do with religion. Our hereafter 
is a survival of the mind after the 
body's death. That's all. We don't 
claim the hereafter is heaven any 
more than early scientists claimed 
that the bones of the first cavemen 
were the remains of Adam and 
Eve." 

"An old woman called here 
earlier," Blaine said. "She told me 
that the hereafter is hell." 

"She's a fanatic," Farrell replied, 
grinning. "She follows me around. 
And for all I know, she's right." 

"What do you know about the 
hereafter?" 



130 



GALAXY 



"Not very much," Farrell told 
him. "All we know for sure is this : 
After the body's death, the mind 
moves to a region we call the 
Threshold, which exists between 
Earth and the hereafter. It is, we 
believe, a sort of preparatory state 
to the hereafter itself. Once the 
mind is there, it can move at will 
into the hereafter." 

"But what is the hereafter like?" 

"We don't know. We're fairly 
sure it's non-physical. Beyond that, 
everything is conjecture. Some 
think that the mind is the essence 
of the body and therefore the es- 
sences, so to speak, of a man's 
worldly goods can be brought into 
the hereafter with him. It could 
be so. Others disagree. Some feel 
that the hereafter is a place where 
souls await their turn for rebirth 
on other planets as part of a vast 
reincarnation cycle. Perhaps that's 
true, too. Some feel that the here- 
after is only the first stage of post- 
Earth existence and that there are 
six others, increasingly difficult 
to attain, culminating in a sort 
of nirvana. Could be. 

"It's been said that the here- 
after is a vast, misty region where 
you wander alone, forever search- 
ing, never finding. I've read 
theories that say people must be 
grouped in the hereafter according 
to family; others state you're 
grouped there according to race, 
or religion, or skin coloration, or 
social position. Some people, as 



you've observed, say if s hell itself 
you're entering. There are advo- 
cates of a theory of illusion, who 
claim that the mind vanishes com- 
pletely when it leaves the Thresh- 
old. And there are people who 
accuse us at the corporation of 
faking all our effects. 

"A recent learned work states 
that you'll find whatever you want 
in the hereafter — heaven, para- 
dise, valhalla, green pastures, take 
your choice. A claim is made that 
the old gods rule in the hereafter 
— the gods of Haiti, Scandinavia 
or the Belgian Congo, depending 
on whose theory you're following. 
Naturally a counter-theory shows 
that there can't be any gods at 
all. I've seen an English book de- 
claring that English spirits rule 
the hereafter, and a Russian book 
claiming that the Russians rule, 
and several American books that 
say the Americans rule. 

"A book came out last year stat- 
ing that the government of the 
hereafter is anarchy. A leading 
philosopher insists that competi- 
tion is a law of nature and must 
be so in the hereafter, too. And so 
on. You can take your pick of 
any of those theories, Mr. Blaine, 
or you can make up one of your 



own. 



» 



W 



HAT do 



think?" 



Y¥7jn/\i ao you 
™ Blaine asked. 
"Me? I'm keeping an open 
mind," Farrell said. "When the 



TIME KILLER 



131 



time comes, I'll go there and find 

out." 

"That's good enough for me," 
said Blaine. "Unfortunately, I 
won't have a chance. I don't have 
the kind of money you people 
charg< 

"I know," Farrell said. "I 
checked into your finances before 
I called." 



V 



J) 



"Thenwhy- 

"Every year," said Farrell, "a 
number of free hereafter grants 
are made, some by philanthro- 
pists, some by corporations and 
trusts, a few on a lottery basis. 
I am happy to say, Mr. Blaine, 
that you have been selected for 
one of these grants." 

"Me?" 

"Let me offer my congratula- 
tions," Farrell said. "You're a very 
lucky man." 

"But who gave me the grant?" 

"The Main-Farbenger Textile 
Corporation." 

"I never heard of them." 

"Well, they heard of you. The 
grant is in recognition of your trip 
here from the year 1958. Do you 
accept it?" 

Blaine stared hard at the 
Hereafter representative. Farrell 
seemed genuine enough; anyhow, 
his story could be checked at the 
Hereafter Building. Blaine had his 
suspicions of the splendid gift 
thrust so unexpectedly into his 
hands. But the thought of an as- 
sured life after death outweighed 




132 



GALAXY 







TIME KILLER 



133 






any possible doubts, pushed aside 
any possible fears. Caution was all 
very well, but not when the gates 
of the hereafter were being opened 
for you. 

"What do I have to do?" he 
asked. 

"Simply accompany me to the 
Hereafter Building," Farrell said. 
"We can have the necessary work 
done in a few hours." 

Survival! Life after death! 

"All right," Blaine said. "I ac- 
cept the grant. Let's go!" 

They left Blaine's apartment at 



once. 



23. 




HELICAB brought them di- 
rectly to the Hereafter Build- 
ing. Farrell led the way to the 
Admissions Office and gave a pho- 
to copy of Blaine's grant to the 
woman in charge. Blaine made a 
set of fingerprints and produced 
his hunter's license for further 
identity. The woman checked all 
the data carefully against her mas- 
ter list of acceptances. Finally she 
was satisfied with its validity and 
signed the admission papers. 

Farrell then took Blaine to the 
Testing Room, wished him luck, 
and left him. 

In the Testing Room, a squad of 
young technicians ran Blaine 
through a gamut of examinations. 
Banks of calculators clicked and 



paper and showers of punched 
cards. Ominous machines bubbled 
and squeaked at him, glared with 
giant red eyes, winked and turned 
amber. Automatic pens squiggled 
across pieces of graph paper. And 
through it all, the technicians kept 
up a lively shop talk. 

"Interesting beta reaction. Think 
we can fair that curve?" 

"Sure, sure, just lower his drive 
coefficient." 

"Hate to do that. It weakens the 
web." 

"You don't have to weaken it 
that much. He'll still take the 
trauma." 

"Maybe. What about this Hen- 
linger factor? It's off." 

"Thaf s because he's in a host 
body. It'll come around." 

"That one didn't last week. The 
guy went up like a rocket." 

"He was too damned unstable 
to begin with." 

Blaine said, "Hey! Is there any 
chance of this not working?" 

The technicians turned as 
though seeing him for the first 
time. 

"Every case is different, pal," 
a technician told him. 

"Each one has to be worked out 
on an individual basis." 



«T*->. 



It's just problems, problems 
all the time." 




LAINE said, "I thought the 
treatment was all worked out. 



rattled and spewed forth yards of I heard it was infallible." 



134 



GALAXY 



"Sure, thaf s what they tell the 
customers," one of the technicians 
said scornfully. 

"Things go wrong here every 
so often. We still got a long way 
to go." * 

Blaine said, "But can you tell 
if the treatment takes?" 

"Of course. If it takes, you're 
still alive." 

"If it doesn't, you never walk 
out of here." 

"It usually takes," a technician 
said consolingly. "On everybody 
but a K3." 

"It's that lousy K3 factor that 
throws us. Come on, Jamiesen, is 
he a K3 or not?" 

"I'm not sure," Jamiesen said, 
hunched over a flashing instru- 
ment. "The testing machine is all 
bitched up again." 

Blaine said, "What is a K3?" 

"I wish we knew," Jamiesen said 
moodily. "All we know for cer- 
tain, guys with a K3 factor can't 
survive after death." 

"Not under any circumstances." 

"Old Fitzroy thinks it's a built- 
in limiting factor that nature in- 
cluded so the species wouldn't run 
wild." 

"But K3s don't transmit the fac- 
tor to their children." 

"There's still a chance it lies 
dormant and skips a few genera- 
tions." 

"Am I a K3?" Blaine asked, 

trying to keep his voice steady. 

"Probably not," Jamiesen said 



warily. "If s not particularly com- 
mon. Let me check." 

Blaine waited while the tech- 
nicians went over their data, and 
Jamiesen tried to determine from 
his faulty machine whether or not 
Blaine had a K3 factor. 

After a while, Jamiesen looked 
up. "Well, I guess he's not K3. 
Though who knows, really? Any- 
how, let's get on with it." 

"What comes next?" asked 
Blaine. 

A hypodermic bit deeply into 
his arm. 

"Don't worry," a technician told 
him, "everything's going to be just 
fine." 

"Are you sure I'm not K3?" 
Blaine insisted. 

The technician nodded in a per- 
functory manner. Blaine wanted 
to ask more questions, but a wave 
of dizziness overcame him. The 
technicians were lifting him, put- 
ting him on a white operating table. 



w 



HEN he recovered conscious- 
ness, he was lying on a com- 
fortable couch listening to sooth- 
ing music. A nurse handed him a 
glass of sherry, and Mr. Farrell 
was standing by, beaming. 

"Feel okay?" Farrell asked. 
"You should. Everything went off 
perfectly." 

"It did?" 

"No possibility of error. Mr. 
Blaine, the hereafter is yours." 

Blaine finished his sherry and 



TIME KILLER 



135 



stood up, a little shakily. "Life af- 
ter death is mine? Whenever I 
die? Whatever I die of?" 

"That's right. No matter how 
or when you die, your mind will 
survive after death. How do you 
feel?" 

"I don't know," Blaine said. 
It was only half an hour later, 
as he was returning to his apart- 

- 

ment, that he began to react. 

The hereafter was his! 

He was filled with a sudden 

wild elation. Nothing mattered 

now, nothing whatsoever! He was 

. immortal! He could be killed on 

the spot and yet live on! 

He felt superbly drunk. Gaily, 
he contemplated throwing himself 
under the wheels of a passing 
truck. What did it matter? Noth- 
ing could really hurt him! He could 
berserk now, slash merrily through 
the crowds. Why not? The only 
thing the flathats could kill was 
his body! 

The feeling was indescribable. 
Now, for the first time, Blaine 
realized what men had lived with 
before the discovery of the scien- 
tific hereafter. He remembered the 
heavy, sodden, constant, uncon- 
scious fear of death that subtly 
weighted every action and per- 
meated every movement. The an- 
cient enemy death, the shadow 
that crept down the corridors of a 
man's mind like some grisly tape- 
worm, the ghost that haunted 
nights and days, the croucher be- 



hind corners, the shape behind 
doors, the unseen guest at every 
banquet, the unidentified figure in 
every landscape, always present, 
always waiting- 
No more. 

For now a tremendous weight 
had been lifted from his mind. The 
fear of death was gone, intoxicat- 
ingly gone, and he felt light as air. 
Death, that ancient enemy, was 
defeated! 



TTE returned to his apartment in 
-■"■- a state of high euphoria. The 
telephone was ringing as he un- 
locked the door. 

"Blaine speaking!" 

"Tom!" It was Marie Thorne. 
"Where have you been? I've been 
trying to reach you all afternoon." 

"I've been out, darling," Blaine 
said. "Where in hell have you 
been?" 

"I've been trying to find out 
what Rex is up to. Now listen care- 
fully. I have some important news 
for you." 

"I've got some news for you, 
sweetheart," Blaine said. 

"Listen to me! A man will call 

■ 

at your apartment today. He'll be 
a salesman from Hereafter, Inc., 
and he will offer you free here- 
after insurance. Don't take it." 
"Why not? Is he a fake?" 
"No, he's perfectly genuine, and 
so is the offer. But you mustn't 
take it." 

"I already did," Blaine said. 



136 



GALAXY 



* 



"You what?" 

"He was here a few hours ago. 
I accepted it." 

"Have they treated you yet?" 

"Yes. Was that a fake?" 

"No," Marie said, "of course it 
wasn't. Oh, Tom, when will you 
learn not to accept gifts from 
strangers? There was time for 
hereafter insurance later. Oh, you 
fool, you complete and absolute 
fool!" 

"What's wrong?" Blaine asked. 
"It was a grant from the Main- 
Farbenger Textile Corporation." 

"They are owned completely by 
the Rex Corporation," Marie told 
him. 

"Oh . . . But so what?" 

"The directors of Rex gave you 
that grant! They used Main-Far- 
benger as a front, but Rex gave 
you the grant! Can't you see what 
it means?" 

"No. Will you please stop 
screaming and explain?" 

"Tom, it's the Permitted Mur- 
der section of the Suicide Act. 
They're going to invoke it." 

"What are you talking about?" 

"I'm talking about the section 

of the Suicide Act that makes 
host-taking legal. Rex has guaran- 
teed the survival of your mind 
after death and you've accepted it. 
Now they can legally take your 
body for any purpose they desire. 
They own it. They can kill your 
body, Tom! And they're going to." 
"Kill me? Why?" 



"Ifs that recording you made 
when you first came to 2110. It's 
been bootlegged all over the city 
and the organized religions have 
gotten hold of it. You say on the 
recording that you don't remem- 
ber anything about the Threshold, 
even though you were in it before 
being reborn. Right?" 

"Sure. So?" 

I 

"So the religions are planning to 
use that against Rex, to disprove 
the validity of the scientific here- 
after. They want you to testify to 
the authenticity of the recording. 
And Rex will do anything to stop 
you from testifying. If the reli- 
gions scored their point, Rex would 
lose any chance at the religious 
market. They'd probably lose a 
lot of other customers, too." 




LAINE frowned. "Tell Rex I 
won't testify. Won't that satis- 
fy them?" 

"They don't trust you. They 
can't afford to. Rex has already 
gone into action to prove that your 
recording is a forgery. They've 
bribed that phony from the past, 
that Ben Therler, to come forward 
and say he's you, and to admit 
that he's not from the past. Ther- 
ler is saying he faked the whole 
thing for publicity reasons. And of 
course he is a fake, so it's easy to 



» 



prove. 

"So that leaves me—" 

"It leaves you a potential dan- 
ger that Rex wants to get rid of 



TIME KILLER 



137 



as quickly as possible, before the 
religions find you and check your 
authenticity against Therler's. The 

* 

quickest and surest way of getting 
rid of you is by killing you." 

"Can't you convince them I 
won't talk?" Blaine asked. 

"I'm afraid they won't listen to 

anything I tell them. I'm in trouble 

myself." 

"Why?" 

"Because they found I smuggled 

out your recording." 

"You did?" 

"I've been an agent of the re- 
ligions for a long time," Marie told 
him. "I'm not particularly reli- 
gious, but I felt that Rex and the 
Hereafter Corporation were get- 
ting too much of a stranglehold on 
the world. I don't like to see any- 
body doing that. But there's no 
time to talk about it now. Tom, 
you must get out of New York, 
then out of the country. Maybe 
they'll leave you alone then. I'll 
help all I can. I think that you 

should-" 

The telephone went dead. 

Blaine clicked the receiver sev- 
eral times, but got no dial tone. 
Apparently the line had been cut. 

The elation he had been filled 
with a few minutes ago drained 
out of him. The intoxicating sense 
of freedom from death vanished. 
How could he have contemplated 
berserking? He wanted to live. He 
wanted to live in the flesh, upon 
the Earth he knew and loved. 



Spiritual existence was fine, but 
he didn't want it yet. Not for a 
long time. He wanted to live 
among tangible objects, breathe 
air, eat solids and drink liquids, 
feel flesh surrounding him, touch 

other flesh. 

When would they try to kill 
him? Any time at all. His apart- 
ment was like a trap. 

Blaine scooped all his money 
into a pocket and hurried to the 
door. He opened it and looked up 
and down the hall. It was empty. 

He ran down the corridor, and 

stopped. 

A man had just come around 
the corner. The man was standing 
in the center of the hall. He was 
carrying a large projector, which 
was aimed at Blaine's stomach. 

The man was Sammy Jones. 

JONES sighed. "Believe me, 
Tom, I'm damned sorry it's 

you. But business is business." 

Blaine stood, frozen, as the pro- 
jector lifted to level on his chest. 

"Why you?" Blaine managed to 
ask. 

"Who else?" Sammy Jones said. 
"Ain't I the best hunter in the 
Western Hemisphere, and prob- 
ably Europe, too? Rex hired every 
one of us in the New York area. 
But with beam and projectile 
weapons this time. I'm sorry it's 
you, Tom." 

"But I'm a hunter, too," Blaine 
objected. 



138 



GALAXY 



"You won't be the first hunter 
that got gunned. It's the breaks of 
the game, lad. Don't flinch. I'll 
make it quick and clean." 

"I don't want to die!" 

"Why not?" Jones asked. 
"You've got your hereafter insur- 
ance." 

"I was tricked! I want to live! 
Sammy, don't do it!" 

Sammy Jones' face hardened. 
He took careful aim, then lowered 

the gun. 

"All right, Tom, start moving. 
Every Quarry should have a little 
head start, a sporting chance. Now 
get going. You're not entitled to 
as much of a lead in the city as 
the countryside, so don't waste any 
time." 

"Thanks, Sammy," Blaine said, 
and hurried down the hall. 

"But, Tom, watch your step if 
you really want to live. I'm telling 
you, New York is full of hunters 
right now, all of them after you. 
And every means of transpor- 
tation is guarded." 

"Thanks," Blaine called, as he 
hurried down the stairs. 

He was in the street, but he 
didn't know where to go. Still, he 
had no time for indecision. It was 
late afternoon, hours before dark- 
ness could help him. He picked a 
direction in great haste and began 
walking. 

Almost instinctively, his steps 
were leading him toward the slums 
of the city. 



24. 



TTE walked past the rickety 
■■"■■ tenements and ancient apart- 
ment houses, past the cheap 
saloons and nightclubs, hands 
thrust in his pockets, trying to 
think. He had to flee New York. 

Jones had told him that the 
transportation services were being 
watched. What hope had he then? 
He was unarmed, defenseless- 
Well, perhaps he could change 
that. With a gun in his hand, 
things would be a little different. 
In fact, things might be very dif- 
ferent indeed. As Hull had pointed 

out, a hunter could legally shoot 
a Quarry, but if a Quarry shot a 
hunter, he was subject to arrest 
and severe penalties. 

If he did shoot a hunter, the 
police would have to arrest him! 
It would all get very involved, 
but it would save him from the 
immediate danger. 

He walked until he came to a 
pawnshop. In the window was a 
glittering array of projectile and 
beam weapons, hunting rifles, 
knives and machetes. Blaine went 
in. 

"I want a gun," he said to the 
mustached man behind the coun- 
ter. 

"A gun. So. And what kind of a 
gun?" the man asked. 

"Have you got any beamers?" 

The man nodded and went to a 

drawer. He took out a gleaming 



TIME KILLER 



139 



handgun with a bright copper 

finish. 

"Now this," he said, "is a special 
buy. It's a genuine Sailes-Byrn 
needlebeam, used for hunting big 
Venusian game. At five hundred 
yards, you can cut through any- 
thing that walks, crawls or flies. 
On the side is the aperture selec- 
tor. You can fan wide for close- 
range work, or extend to a needle 
point for distance shooting." 

"Fine, fine," Blaine said, pulling 
bills from his pocket. 

"This button here," the pawn- 
broker went on, "controls length 
of blast. Set as is, you get a stand- 
ard fractional jolt. One click ex- 
tends time to a quarter second. 
Put it on automatic and it'll cut 
like a scythe. It has a power sup- 
ply of over four hours, and there's 
more than three hours still left in 
the original pack. What's more, 
you can use this weapon in your 
home workshop. With a special 
mounting and a baffle to cut down 
the power, you can slice plastic 
with this better than with a saw. 
A different baffle converts it into 
a blowtorch. The baffles can be 
purchased—" 

I'll buy it," Blaine broke in. 

The pawnbroker nodded. "May 
I see your permit, please?" 



KTf 




LAINE 

license 
man. The 
and, with 



took out his hunter's 
and showed it to the 
pawnbroker nodded, 
maddening slowness, 



filled out a receipt for the gun. 

The pawnbroker said, "That'll 
be seventy-five dollars." As Blaine 
pushed the money across the coun- 
ter, the pawnbroker consulted a 
list on the wall behind him. 

"I can't sell you that weapon." 

"Why not?" Blaine demanded. 
"You saw my hunter's license." 

"But you didn't tell me you 
were a registered Quarry. You 
know a Quarry can't legally have 
weapons. Your name was flashed 
here half an hour ago. You can't 
buy a legal weapon anywhere in 
New York, Mr. Blaine." 

The pawnbroker pushed the 
bills back across the counter. 
Blaine grabbed for the needle.- 
beam. The pawnbroker scooped it 

up first and leveled it at him. 

"I ought to save them the 
trouble," he said. "You've got your 
damned hereafter. What else do 
you want?" 

Blaine stood perfectly still. The 
pawnbroker lowered the gun. 

"But that's not my job," he said. 
"The hunters will get you soon 
enough." 

He reached under the counter 
and pressed a button. Blaine 
turned and ran out of the store. It 
was growing dark. But his loca- 
tion had been revealed. The hun- 
ters would be closing in now. 

He thought he heard someone 
calling his name. He pushed 
through the crowds, not daring to 
look back, trying to think of some- 



140 



GALAXY 



thing to do. He couldn't have come 
152 years through time to be shot 
before a million people! It wasn't 
fair! 



against a wall, out of the way of 
the blast. 

The gunman, fifty feet away, 
took aim and fired. Blaine fell flat 



He noticed a man following and the beam missed him. He 



close behind him, grinning. It was 
Theseus, gun out, wafting for a 

clear shot. 

Blaine put on a burst of speed, 
dodged through the crowds and 
turned quickly into a side street. 
He sprinted down it, then came 
to a sudden stop. 

At the far end of the street, sil- 
houetted against the light, a man 
was standing. The man had one 
hand on his hip, the other raised 
in a shooting position. Blaine hesi- 
tated and glanced back at Theseus. 

The little hunter fired, scorch- 
ing Blaine's sleeve. Blaine ran 
toward an open door, which was 
suddenly slammed in his face. A 
second shot charred his coat. 



w 



ITH dreamlike clarity, he 
watched the hunters advance, 
Theseus close behind him, the 
other hunter in the distance, block- 
ing the way out. Blaine ran on 
leaden feet toward the more dis- 
tant man, over manhole covers 
and subway gratings, past shut- 
tered stores and locked buildings. 

"Back off, Theseus!" the hun- 
ter called. "I got him!" 

"Take him, Hendrick!" Theseus 
called back, and flattened himself 



rolled, trying to make the inade- 
quate shelter of a doorway. The 
beam probed after him, scoring the 
concrete and turning the puddles 
of sewer water into steam. 

Then a subway grating gave 
way beneath him. 

As he fell, he knew that the 
grating must have been weakened 
by the lancing beam. Bljnd luck! 
But he had to land on his feet. 
He had to stay conscious, drag 
himself away from the opening, or 
his body would be lying in full 
view of the opening, an easy tar- 

* 

get for hunters standing on the 
edge. 

He tried to twist in mid-air, too 
late. He landed heavily on his 
shoulders and his head slammed 
against an iron stanchion. But the 
need to stay conscious was so great 
that he pulled himself to his feet. 

He had to drag himself out of 
the way, deep into the subway pas- 
sage, far enough so they couldn't 

find him. 

But even the first step was too 
much. Sickeningly, his legs buckled 
under him. He fell on his face, 
rolled over and stared at the gap- 
ing hole above him. 

—ROBERT SHECKLEY 






CONCLUDED NEXT ISSUE (FEBRUARY) 



TIME KiLLER 



141 






( Continued from page 4 ) 
powder, when nothing else will 
work. We can fill 196 pages every 
other month with really good sci- 
ence fiction. We can't do it on a 
monthly schedule. Nobody can. 

Transposed western and detec- 
tive stories cosmetically disguised 
as science fiction, oversexed Play- 
boy rejections, witless space wars, 
extraterrestrial spies, post-atomic 
societies, biblical greats who turn 
out to be aliens or visitors from the 
future, cave-dweller Ugh who dis- 
covers how to chip flint or make fire 
or meets the gods with six arms or 
gray-flannel buckskins, the road or 
valley that proves to be a time fault 
into the future or past, good guy 
and bad guy marooned on an aster- 
oid, psionics that have long psick- 
ened us with their psenseless 
psamenesses — there are enough of 
these literary cinders to fill any 
number of slagpile magazines. 

But Galaxy quality? Enough 
for 196 packed pages every two 

months is all we dare hope for, all 
we can safely promise. 
• By actual page count, the gi- 
gantic new Galaxy will be giving 
you from 36 to 76 more pages than 
any of its rivals. That means more 
stories, more art, more printing, 
more paper, costlier binding, added 
shipping charges — when Galaxy 
all along has been the most ex- 
pensively produced magazine in 
this field. 



are as straight as in any other 
business: improve and enlarge 
your package and your costs go 
up, so you have to charge more. 
And the economies are the same: 
keep price increase to a minimum 
by keeping production high. And 
the savings to the customer are 
identical: a lot more magazine for 
only a little more money. 

Almost all our competitors 
offer 130 pages @ 35^. The new 
Galaxy offers 196 pages @ 5(ty. 

That's half again as much for 
only 15^ more. As mentioned be- 

- 

fore, we are betting that readers 
know a lavish bargain when they 
see one — as if a bet that people 
bright enough to read science fic- 
tion also know elementary arith- 
metic is any sort of gamble. 

Now add the factor of quality — 
Galaxy quality, proved over eight 
years — and the equation is com- 
plete: the most of the best for the 
least. 




O much for size and cost. Now 
let's do a really thorough job 
of restyling! 

It is the better part of a decade 
since we asked you to help shape 
all our policies — which you did 
so magnificently that you gave 
Galaxy the greatest science fic- 
tion following on Earth. But you 
haven't had the opportunity of 
changing your vote, or reaffirm- 
ing it, and many of you came in 



The mathematics of publishing after the balloting was closed. 



142 



GALAXY 



Well, Galaxy is again your 
magazine. Your suggestions will be 
followed. Let's detail that state- 
ment and see just how inclusive it 
is: 

• To begin with, the heart of the 
magazine — stories. With all those 
extra pages, there are lots of com- 
binations we can use for editorial 
balance. Magazines generally 
strive for very long contents pages 
by using very short stories and 
only a few medium-length novelets 

— a policy that makes sense only 
if readers prefer short stories to 
long ones. Well, do you? Or would 
you rather have the short stories 
held down, even if they make the 
contents page look synthetically 
hefty, and more novelets and nov- 

» 

ellas? Or do you have other ideas 
on content and balance? 

• How about serials? The best 
solution — running them complete 

— can't be done; they'd squeeze 
out everything else in the issue. 
Worse yet, that would also kill 
book, paperbound reprint and club 
sales for the authors — book pub- 
lishers won't touch novels that 
have appeared complete in single 
issues. With 196 pages, we can run 
them in two equal installments and 

^ 

still have plenty of room for other 
material. There's a two-month 
wait, true, but isn't that better than 
three or four monthly install- 
ments? Before you decide, think if 
you'd have been willing to miss 
reading The Demolished Man, 



Gravy Planet, The Puppet Mas- 
ters, The Stars My Destination — 
and now Time Killer. 

It's a tough decision. That's why 
we ask you to help make it. 

• What do you think of articles? 
Is our science department a good 
solution? If so, why — and how 
can it be made better? If not, what 
would you prefer? 

• Do you like our editor's page? 
Should it be lighter? Heavier? Not 
at all? 

• You voted against a letter 
column back in 1950, a big sur- 
prise because we like them in 
newspapers and magazines, and 
had planned to have one. Is it that 
you fear a letter column must be 
juvenile or pedantic? It needn't 
be, if it's shut down when no in- 
teresting mail comes in. What's 
your vote now, eight years later? 

• How about our book reviews? 

• Any thoughts on our cover and 
inside art, layouts, typography? 

• In short, if you had a maga- 
zine of your own, what would it 
be like? Tell us and we'll do our 
honest best to make Galaxy as 
close as possible to your idea of 
an ideal magazine. 

"C 1 VERY magazine should have 
-" a revolution every few years. 
This one has put back the roses in 
our cheeks, a spring in our walk, a 
joyous glint in our eyes. 



Crusade, everyone? 



H. L. GOLD 



GALAXY 



143 




GIANT 






PAGES 




NOW 

THE LAST WORD 




Here is the next-to-final decision on the giant ^^m^immmmmm^ i 

Despite price increase, we agreed that old subscriptions will be fulfilled issue for issue. 
But then we wondered how non-subscribers would feel if they could not take advantage 
of this deal. Frustrated, we decided, and so here is the last decision of ail: 

For 30 days only, your new and renewal and gift subscriptions 

will be honored at the old rate of $3.50 for 12 sisues. 
Two necessary exceptions. First, the offer applies only to the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South 
and Central America, and U.S. possessions. Second, the cover, as always, was printed before 
this issue came off the press. The $3.50 for 1 year, offer is intended to mean $3.50 for 12 
issues and the two-year offer must be rescinded; economics just won't stretch that far. You 
can subscribe to more than 12 issues if you wish, but at the $3.50 rate only. 

Just 30 days, remember. And remember too that this offer will not be repeated. 

GALAXY Publishing Corp., 421 Hudson Street, New York 14, N. Y. 
Enter my subscription for the New Giant 196 page Galaxy for: 

1 2 Issues @ $3.50 24 Issues @ $7.00 ($1 .00 additional per 1 2 issues for foreign) 



Name 



Address 



City 



Zone 



State 






/ 







S""*!! 1 sw,,. *I»UA« *Orr. \r> *°* AS "*°V 






• You see STARS *** **'"» 



LEINSTER 



rfcNff 



There's nothing nebulous about that cluster of science fiction 
luminaries . . . and more will be appearing in our future sparkling 

issues. 



It's only natural that GALAXY should have a constellation of 
famous writers. Our rates to authors are the highest in the field, our 
editorial policy the most challenging. 

But GALAXY is not committed to big names only. You'll 
also see uncharted stars flare to sudden brilliance: the first magni- 
tudes in other fields streaking into science fiction . . . the giants of the 
next decade hurling out their first flaming, molten prose. 

Subscribe now to insure not missing any star-studded issues 
of GALAXY. You don't have to use the coupon; it's for your conven- 
ience, not ours. 



Galaxy Publishing Corp. 
421 Hudson St. 
New York 14.. N. Y. 

Start my subscription to GALAXY with the issue. 

I enclose (check one) 

$3.50 for I year $6.50 for 2 years . 

$1.00 additional Foreign Postage Per Year 



NAME 




CITY P. O. ZONE STATE